Snakes head for city life

Sandula Conservation owner Mark Marshall has received 65 calls in the past three weeks from residents wanting to remove snakes around Nelson Mandela Bay Picture: Eugene Coetzee
Sandula Conservation owner Mark Marshall has received 65 calls in the past three weeks from residents wanting to remove snakes around Nelson Mandela Bay
Picture: Eugene Coetzee

Cobras and boomslangs captured in gardens

A Port Elizabeth snake catcher has been inundated with calls about different breeds of reptiles – including the Cape cobra – spotted in Malabar over the past three weeks.

Sandula Conservation owner Mark Marshall said he had received at least 35 calls from Malabar residents after snakes were seen in the suburb.

The spike in snake activity is due to a lack of food and bush fires, according to Marshall.

“Malabar is generally a popular Cape cobra area. There is a large bush area between Malabar and Westering,” he said.

“The snakes are crawling into the street via a cul-de-sac or other places where the streets meet the bush.”

Crammer Street appears to be popular as Marshall had been called out there three times in a single week.

“The snakes mainly come out in the morning and afternoon looking for shade and water,” Marshall said.

“Where is the best place for that? Our residential areas.”

Marshall said he had received 65 calls – including the ones from Malabar – from residents in the past three weeks.

Six different snake species including the brown house, red-lipped herald, boomslang, puff adder, rinkhals and Cape cobra were found and removed from suburbs around the city.

Marshall said while the number of sightings remained similar, the species had changed.

He caught about 79 puff adders last year as opposed to about 40 during the same period this year.

While he caught four boomslangs and a Cape cobra last year, Marshall said this had increased to more than 20 boomslangs and 10 Cape cobras during the same period this year.

Crammer Street resident Tony Naidoo, 59, who had a snake caught at his home on Friday, said this was the third that had been spotted at his house in the last eight years.

He was sitting inside with his four-year-old grandson, Liam, when a snake tried to crawl through a sliding door.

“I closed the door slowly and it made its way to the braai area,” Naidoo said.

“I phoned my son and we managed to catch it in a bucket. I didn’t want to hurt the snake, it was such a beautiful creature.”

The snake was taken by Marshall, who encouraged residents to try to take a picture of reptiles before contacting him.

More details can be found on the Sandula Conservation-Mark Marshall Facebook page.

If residents do have any sitings, they are advised to contact Mark Marshall at 082-261-9280.

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