Durban – Snake handler Jason Arnold was able to identify a Mozambique spitting cobra by its hiss before seeing it in a bathroom in the Clare Estate area recently.
One evening, Arnold was called out for what was described to him as a “very large” snake in the bathroom and he had no idea what kind of snake it was going to be.
The family had closed the windows and the bathroom door, trapping the snake.
“I did not ask for any colour description or size description or anything. They just said very large and I said, all right, I’m coming,” Arnold said.
He entered the bathroom cautiously and from the hiss the snake was making Arnold could tell it was a spitting cobra – they have a very distinctive hiss, Arnold described in his capture video. “That’s definitely a spitting cobra”, Arnold said while pulling a washing basket away, revealing the cobra.
Unfortunately, Arnold was without his sunglasses and had to keep his eyes 80% closed and tried not to move his upper body.
The cobra was hissing at him. “Not a happy snake, hey,” Arnold said.
As Arnold moved his tongs closer, the snake hissed more, appeared to have spread its hood and spat at the tongs.
Within seconds, he had the tongs behind the cobra’s head and grabbed it. However, the cobra had managed to wrap its tail around a pipe near the toilet.
Explaining cobra spits, Arnold said that if the snake spits at a person and they have a fresh open wound, and the venom lands on the wound, then some of it could get into the bloodstream. However, on bare skin, it will not do anything, unless the person has very sensitive skin or severe allergies.
He said that in the eyes, it burns. One should keep their eyes under running water for a few minutes to flush the venom out. Thereafter, the eyes might be a bit uncomfortable and a bit sensitive to light, but it will not cause permanent damage.
Arnold said that this was the second spitting cobra in 18 months that he had caught inside people’s homes.
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