Drama as puff adder emerges from toilet

Liam May and Michael Kimberley

IF you think a snake living in your toilet is the stuff of urban legends, think again. A 2m puff adder slithered out of a Summerstrand toilet yesterday, scaring everyone nearby.

Somerson Retirement Village employee Yvonne Jantjies was minding her own business when she realised she was sharing a stall with a hissing reptile.

Unsure what to do about the snake, Jantjies screamed, fled from the toilet, shut the door and bolted across the bathroom. The female puff adder looked like it was about to strike, but Jantjies said she refused to be a sitting target.

After escaping the toilet stall, panic ensued.

Jantjies and two of her colleagues jumped on the bathroom benches and shouted for help.

Puff adder venom is cytotoxic (tissue destroying) and the viper is one of the most dangerous snakes in South Africa.

“I didn’t know what to do. I panicked. We all panicked,” Jantjies said.

“The snake just came from behind.”

Still unsure of what to do, Jantjies and her two colleagues carried on screaming until a security guard finally arrived. But, the snake escaped and made its way to the staff quarters.

More drama erupted with the snake scaring other staff members silly.

Cleaner Bridget Magqaza said: “I was on the second floor when I saw the snake attacking a bird. I then alerted the security guards.”

Magqaza said the snake appeared to have come from an adjacent building.

Eventually, Wildline founder Arnold Slabbert arrived. Slabbert was able to hook and bag the snake.

“Because of the warm weather, female snakes are now coming out of hibernation,” he explained.

“They are fattening up to breed.”

Jantjies said it was an unpleasant surprise and the snake was probably coiled up in the toilet.

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