With the weather warming up, the City of Ekurhuleni has warned the public to be on the lookout for snakes.
It is during this period of the year that snakes are on the prowl in search of food.
Snake season starts in the middle of August until late May. This is the period when a number of snakes, harmful and harmless get out of hiding.
Snakes such as the puff adder and rinkhals are extremely dangerous, with the puff adder known to be instinctive, slow in pace and quick to sense danger.
The rinkhals or ring-necked cobra is a fast-moving multi feeder, which is good at faking death. It is easily identified by the two white stripes that are visible across its neck when it spreads its hood.
The city cautioned pet owners to be on high alert and to keep an eye on their pets as they may fall prey to snakes.
“On the same note, while the community is cautioned to be vigilant against the harmful snakes, there are also snakes that are harmless to humans, such as the brown house snake, arora house snake, olive house snake and red-lipped snake that are likely to be found in backyard gardens searching for food like rodents,” the City of Ekurhuleni said in a statement on Monday.
Due to their harmlessness and less defensive nature, these species tend to be easily killed or captured as pets, a practice that is discouraged because it is illegal and punishable if you do not have a legal permit.
When encountering snakes, residents can call the city’s snake catchers: Makhosonke Mabena on 071 833 6549, Sonny Katisa on 073 988 8131, Mapaseka Maleka on 079 180 9231, Lucky Mahlangu on 083 237 7137 and Mbali Masango on 081 043 5354.
Source: South African Government News Agency