LOOK: Durban snake catcher’s long wait for a puff adder ends with double reward

A male puff adder nestled in a large wood pile. Picture: Nick Evans

A male puff adder nestled in a large wood pile. Picture: Nick Evans

Published May 31, 2023


Durban — Snake rescuer Nick Evans said that Saturday was exactly a year, to the day, that he last had a call for a puff adder.

He said that around Durban, puff adders started occurring in the Upper Highway area and become more and more common the further inland one went.

Evans said that over the weekend, he received a call from an old friend in Assagay to catch a pair of puff adders, and he could not resist going.

“The pair, I was told, were in a large wood pile. I took my snake-catching friend, Nick Saunders with, for help,” Evans said. He said the caller was not exaggerating, it was a large wood pile.

Evans said that he and the caller started removing the long planks of wood together, going slowly and carefully. Soon, they found the first snake, a male.

The female puff adder that was removed from a large wood pile. Picture: Nick Evans

“Male puff adders have longer, more slender tails than females, which have short, stumpy tails. In this area, and probably elsewhere, males also happen to be more colourful than females, usually. This one had a lovely tinge of orange on its face, which isn't too visible in the pics,” Evans said.

He added that Saunders scooped the snake up with a hook stick and placed it in a bucket. Evans said they then searched for the female and moved more planks before they found her.

“She was quite a bit larger than the male, not as brightly coloured, but still beautiful! An impressive specimen, which we lifted with hook sticks and placed in a bucket,” Evans said.

He said that puff adder rescues were not as thrilling as mamba rescues.

“However, I love puff adders. They're fascinating snakes, and to catch a pair was really exciting!” Evans exclaimed.

He said that the caller’s only concern and reason for having the puff adders moved was because of his dogs.

Male puff adder on the right and female puff adder on the left. The photos do not do their colours justice. Picture: Nick Evans

Evans said that dogs and puff adders are not good friends. No one wants their dog to experience the adder’s dangerous cytotoxic venom.

He said he was grateful to the caller and his family for calling, and for the help.

“April/May is mating season for puff adders, and I saw removers in PMB had been catching a few pairs,” Evans said. “It was awesome to get a pair closer to home!”

Evans said that the puff adders have since been released and footage of the rescue and release would come soon.

He added that his new website was up and running if anyone wanted to learn more about Durban's snakes. More information will be added soon.


Nick Evans said they removed a lot of wood from the large wood pile to rescue a male and female puff adder. Picture: Nick Evans

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