Two brave young men rescued a terrified Cape Cobra from an equally scared crowd of Cape Flats people.
The snake was badly injured after it was pelted with rocks by residents.
The venomous slang was found in a park in Dr Abdurahman Road, Kewtown, Athlone on Monday afternoon, where a crowd of residents gathered to take a peek.
Friends Revon Brown, 20, and Mondray Smith, 17, bravely caught the 1.5m long slang, with its hood dangerously flattened, and kept it in a pillow case until a professional snake handler arrived.
Revon, who rushed home to get a pillow case, says although he didn’t realise it was a cobra he knew it was dangerous.
They had to keep curious women and children at bay who wanted to get a close up look.
“When we caught it, I wasn’t sure what type of snake it was so when we got home, I threw it out on the floor and saw it was a cobra,” says Revon.
He says he knew how to handle the dangerous reptile based on what he “saw on TV”.
“I saw programmes on TV where people caught the snake from behind so that’s how I took it,” he explains.
Mondray says they took the brown-coloured snake to a nearby pet shop but it could not be kept there.
“They told us they couldn’t keep it there because they don’t have a permit to keep snakes,” he adds.
The friends say they then contacted the Daily Voice for assistance.
“We thought you guys will be able to call a snake handler,” says Revon.
Daily Voice immediately called Ashley Forster, a member of the Cape Reptile Club and Cape Snake Conservation, who took the badly injured animal to the Alphen Vet Clinic in Constantia for treatment.
“It is a venomous snake and they are lucky it didn’t bite them through the pillowcase,” Ashley said yesterday.
“Some of its ribs were broken so we had to take it to a vet so it can be stitched up.”
Ashley says the snake will be released back in the wild in about three months’ time.
“We need to see if it can eat and defecate properly because of the injuries,” he says.
“When people do come across any snakes, it’s best to leave it and call the experts.”
Snakes Tips by Ashley Foster, Cape Reptile Club, ER24’s Dr Vernon Wessels and Snake Expert Arno Naude
How to handle snakes and snake bites:
- If you come across a snake and it is lying still, don’t disturb it. A snake will only attack if it feels threatened.
- Snake bites can affect body functions within minutes and can be fatal. Anyone bitten by a snake must visit a medical practitioner.
- Don’t panic, remain calm. The majority of bites are not venomous. Panic increases blood circulation which could be detrimental.
- Apply a bandage to the area and immobilise the limb if possible.
- If bitten by a snake
- Do not wash or cut the wound or try to suck out the venom.
- Do not use home remedies. No ice, heat packs or electrical shocks should be used.
- Alcohol and aspirin should be avoided.
- If you see a snake, try to get away. If you are more than two body lengths away from the snake, walk around it. If you are closer than that, freeze and try to determine which direction the snake is moving in. Try another direction for yourself. If the snake is approaching then a quick exit is safer.
You can contact Ashley on 072 030 5810.