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Research body admits two Nile monitor lizards thought to have washed down the Umgeni River with the recent flooding

The South African Association for Marine Biological Research herpetologists have admitted two Nile monitor lizards that were found on different Durban beaches over the weekend. | Saambr

The South African Association for Marine Biological Research herpetologists have admitted two Nile monitor lizards that were found on different Durban beaches over the weekend. | Saambr

Published Apr 20, 2022

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Durban – The South African Association for Marine Biological Research (Saambr) herpetologists have admitted two Nile monitor lizards that were found on different Durban beaches over the weekend.

Saambr’s Ann Kunz said there were many reports of snakes, lizards, frogs and even crocodiles washing up on our beaches.

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“We suspect these two monitors washed down the Umgeni River with the recent flooding,” Kunz said.

She said Nile monitors were a nationally protected species and are found in freshwater habitats throughout KwaZulu-Natal as well as other parts of the country. They are often seen basking in the sun on the edge of rivers and estuaries.

“Although the tides will continue to wash plastic and other inorganic material on to the shores of southern Africa for the next couple of months, we are very proud to report that the sterling clean-up efforts on Durban’s beaches have seen the removal of large quantities of the inorganic material initially brought down by the flooding rivers,” Kunz said.

Last week, a Southern African python, spotted shovel-nosed frogs, a vine snake and a monitor lizard were spotted and photographed along the KZN coast after the floods.

Durban snake catcher Nick Evans said that a young Southern African python was sadly found dead on Umdloti Beach and spotted shovel-nosed frogs, a rarely seen species, were also encountered on the same beach.

He said his friend, Barbara Patrick, saw a beautiful vine snake, highly venomous, on the beach in Umzumbe. Fortunately, it was alive.

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A monitor lizard was photographed on Durban’s North Beach, Evans said.

“No doubt there are more creatures around.”

Last Tuesday, Evans rescued a large Southern African python, which was spotted among debris in the Westbrook area, north of Durban.

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He said the snake had no signs of injury.

The female snake was well over 3m and very chunky.

Meanwhile, South Coast snake catcher Sarel van der Merwe said he had rescued a vine/twig snake in Umzumbe. It had washed up on a beach.

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“Apparently, he was between the debris for days and he was freezing cold and didn’t move. I gave him some water at home and will release him later in the week when it’s a bit warmer,” Van der Merwe said.

“Thanks to Barbara Patrick for watching the snake.”

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