Ssstay away from stiletto snakes warns Durban snake catcher, Nick Evans
Durban - Nick Evans, a Durban snake catcher, has warned people to stay away from stiletto snakes.
Evans said stiletto snakes have been very active in recent weeks and a number of people have been bitten.
"Just about all of the bites happened when a person picked up the snake," he said.
Evans said one of the bites was particularly gruesome.
"There was another horrific bite in the Durban South area recently, with lots of tissue damage. A teenager was also bitten in Inanda, and his arm swelled right up, more than I personally have seen on other patients. He made a full recovery," Evans said.
Stiletto snakes are small, dark snakes, with adults usually around 30-40cm long. They are a blackish/brown colour, with a pale belly, in some areas, white.
They've got beady little eyes, and a tail that ends in a spine. If grabbed by the tail, they dig this into you. It doesn't cause harm, nor does it break the skin, it just gives you a fright.
Evans said if stiletto snakes feel threatened, they arch their neck, so their face is on the ground.
"They move in a twitchy way, swiping that head from side to side. That's them striking, as their fangs protrude out the side of their mouths," he warned.
Evans said if left alone, the snakes are not a problem.
"They disappear quickly. If you're really concerned, call a snake catcher," he said.