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WARNING: Don’t pick up snakes, says expert after two venomous snakebites are recorded in Durban

Two people have been bitten by venomous stiletto snakes in the greater Durban area. Snake rescuer Nick Evans warned the public never to pick up snakes. Picture: Nick Evans

Two people have been bitten by venomous stiletto snakes in the greater Durban area. Snake rescuer Nick Evans warned the public never to pick up snakes. Picture: Nick Evans

Published Jan 13, 2022

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DURBAN - Snake rescuer Nick Evans has reiterated his warning to the public not to pick up snakes after two venomous stiletto snakebites were recorded in the greater Durban area.

Evans said while he appreciated the fact that the two people who were bitten had good intentions, getting bitten was not worth the pain.

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“Thankfully both patients are on the mend. Please, please, please, if you see a snake, and think it's not venomous, please don't touch it. It's not worth the pain,”he said.

He said the rain and heat has provided perfect weather conditions for this venomous snake.

“Their bite is not lethal, but the cytotoxic venom causes swelling and pain, as well as blistering and tissue damage,” he said.

Evans advised the public to go to the nearest hospital if bitten.

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He described the stiletto snake as small with a rounded head and a tail that ends in a sharp point. They have tiny eyes, adapted to life underground and adults are around 30-40cm in length. They are also brownish/black in colour while the belly is lighter in colour.

The fangs of stiletto snakes protrude out of the sides of their mouths and they should not be picked up. Picture: Nick Evans.

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Stiletto snakes are small and are brownish/black in colour with a lighter belly. Their heads are rounded and the tail ends in a sharp point. Adults are around 30-40cm in length. Picture: Nick Evans.

“The stiletto snake cannot be safely handled due to its size, and the fact that the fangs protrude out the sides of their mouths when biting,” he warned.

Evans said most of the bites seen around Durban, from whichever species, happen because someone is trying to pick one up, or kill it.

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He said if a member of the public sees a snake, they should leave it alone and phone a snake remover for advice or to remove it.

Evans said he is collecting statistics on snake bites in the greater Durban area and said the public could contact him to report a bite incident.

“Please do let me know via email ([email protected]) or WhatsApp (072 809 5806),” he added.

THE MERCURY

Related Topics:

KwaZulu-NatalAnimals

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