Get the snake app experts say after puff adder was found in Hanover Park

By Genevieve Serra Time of article published Oct 27, 2021

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Cape Town - Snake experts said that a puff adder found by residents in Hanover Park inside a plastic container, has been given to the Cape Nature Reserve while they say getting help is as easy as loading an app on your cellphone.

Two weeks ago, authorities sent out an alert that October to April was snake season as temperatures started to rise.

The City’s Law Enforcement’s Inspector Wayne Dyason said the snake had travelled to Hanover Park via a resident, who had apparently not been aware of the snake’s presence at first and later placed it inside a plastic container.

The photograph of the puff adder went viral on social media. supplied

“Earlier today (Monday) at approximately 7.30am City Law Enforcement Advancement Plan officers received information from the local Neighbourhood Watch (NW) about a person that had a snake in his possession just behind Solent Court, Hanover Park. It’s alleged that the snake was brought from Grabouw by a local resident.

“While the officers responded the NW members kept them informed about the movement of the person and the snake. Officers were informed that the person with the snake moved to an address in Manlyn Walk, Pinati Estate.

“On arrival at the address a women informed them the person was there and had just left for the post office leaving behind a container.

“The officers asked if she was aware that there was a snake in the container that he had left behind. She was unaware and shocked to find out that a snake was left on her property.

“The City's Nature Conservation Department then arrived and confirmed it was a puff adder which is a highly venomous snake. They removed the snake from the property and took it to a place of safety.

“The circumstances around the possession of the snake will be investigated.”


Freddie Q, a local snake expert, said a puff adder is not child’s play and that people should equip themselves with the necessary tools in case they find themselves in a sticky situation.

“We tried to get hold of law enforcement because we were concerned where they were going to release that snake and we were relieved to hear that it was given to Cape Nature, as it needs to be released not too far from where it was found originally,” he said.

“If people do find snakes, it is best to call law enforcement, the fire brigade who will place them in contact with snake handlers.

“You can also download the app, African Snakebite Institute (ASI) which is free to download. You can see who is close to you in your area who can assist you. There is also the website, which is”

Dr Carine Marks, director of the Tygerberg Poison Information Centre recently also informed the public of a list of places where help could be found when receiving a snake bite: the Red Cross Children’s Hospital Poisons Information Centre. The public, as well as health workers can contact the Poison Information Helpline of the Western Cape (PIHWC) at 0861 555 777.

If you are more than two hours’ away from medical assistance, respiratory support (e.g., mouth-to-mouth resuscitation) may be necessary.The life-threatening effects of a cytotoxic snake bite (e.g., puff adder) develop late (six to 24 hours). Comforting and reassuring the patient is a very important part of the first aid treatment.

Try to get a good description (or photo) of the snake.

Please note that antivenom should only be administered by trained medical staff in a medical facility.

Weekend Argus

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