Spitting cobra rescued from township

Yet another township visit for me!

I’m getting very used to visiting rural townships nowadays, as that’s where the snakes seem to be drawn to- plenty of food around! I always go now with armed company, going solo is just far too dangerous. Fortunately I have made friends with local security personnel, who are most helpful.

Yesterday, on my way home from Ashton College, I was called out to Clare Estate, next to Reservoir Hills. I met up with a friend, who lead me in. The caller was one of his friends, who has a house nestled between the shacks. He saw the snake go underneath an outdoor shelf, and it raised up and spat at him, so he knew what it was! Fortunately, I think he was further than 2-3m away from it, because the venom didn’t land on him.

When we arrived, the man had been sitting and watching the shelf- just like we asked. He couldn’t see it, nor could I with my visor on, it was too dark. I lifted up my visor, carefully, knowing full-well what could happen! As I did, I could see better, and there was the snake! I could just see the orange neck, of a fair-sized Mozambique Spitting Cobra! I put my visor back over my face, slowly, trying not to spook the snake into spitting. The problem now was, I couldn’t see it!

I stuck my grabstick underneath, to try and encorage it out. I could hear it moving, but couldn’t see thing. I usually carry a torch with me, but of course, not on a day when needed! The caller helped by sticking a piece of wood under the shelf, and lifting it up- now I could see it!
It made a dash for it, trying to shoot out the side of the house and into the bush. I quickly grabbed hold of the tail, but it had gotten its front half wrapped around a weed. It had the advantage now, and made the most of it. While I was getting into position to pin it down with my grabstick, it was giving me a refreshing venom-shower, how kind! I grabbed it behind the head with the grabstick, let the tail go, and quickly secured the head with my hand. After untangling it’s body from around the weed, I safely got it into a bucket. Job done!

The caller, a nice Indian man, was so grateful for the help. He said, “I don’t want to kill these things, but if no one can help me, I unfortunately have to”. I understood his point, so I was glad he chose to call for help, and that I was available. Wish more people had this mentality!

Afterwards, while chatting to my friend (whom I am thankful to for his company) and looking at the area, it was quite scary to learn how corrupt people can be. All the shacks that you see in the pic below, have encroached on private land. They’re illegally set-up, and no one could stop it. They’re starting to encroach further onto properties. I’m not sure that it’s good that I mention what else I learned about what was going on, but all I can see is that things are very corrupt, and crime is rising fast!

Working with wildlife is such a pleasure. Animals are far more reasonable and honest than most people!

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