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‘Slimy’ slithering snake mistakes little girl’s arm for prey

The brown house snake slithered underneath the bed after Michael Young removed his from daughter’s arm. Picture: Supplied.

The brown house snake slithered underneath the bed after Michael Young removed his from daughter’s arm. Picture: Supplied.

Published Jan 8, 2022


DURBAN - FOUR days after having had a brown house snake wrap itself around her arm and bite her, all was well with 4-year-old Alyssa Gordon who is now running around.

When the little girl woke her parents crying as the ordeal played out, it was initially thought a mosquito had bitten and disturbed her sleep in their Overport home.

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Her father, Michael Young, 29, said it was around 4am on Monday when he heard his daughter crying.

Alyssa told her dad something had bitten her. He told her that it was a mosquito or something but decided to get up and rub her arm.

“While rubbing her arm, I felt a slimy thing. At first, I thought it was a snail but … I was pulling this thing wrapped around her arm. It was quite long,” Young said.

He said Alyssa started screaming more as he pulled because whatever it was did not want to come off and when it did, he threw it on the floor.

“Only after I switched on the lights, I saw it going around the bed. It was quite a long snake.”

Young said the snake had bitten Alyssa on her pinky and ring finger of her left hand, while he was bitten on his right hand. On their way to Netcare Parklands Hospital, ER24 paramedics said they should rather go straight to Netcare St Augustine’s Hospital because it was well versed in snake bites and treatment.

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“They asked for a picture of the snake, so they could check in their booklet to see what snake it was, and they said it was a garden snake. It wasn’t a poisonous snake.

“But just to be safe, they took blood from us and they were sure it was not a venomous snake. They gave her medicine and syrup and they gave me a tetanus injection. She could not have one because she’s too young.”

Durban snake catcher Nick Evans said brown house snakes were constrictors.

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“They bite their prey and they wrap around it, that's how they kill because they do not have venom. A venomous snake does not generally do that. You will not find a mamba or cobra wrapped around something.”

He said the snake was not venomous and a big one would be about 1.1m maybe 1.2m.

“They get the name house snake because they are always around the house. They are good to have around the suburbs because they sort out any rat problems.

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“As babies, they eat lizards but when they get a bit bigger, over half a metre, they eat rats.”

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