Snakes alive: Lovemore Heights couple calmly capture puff adder
What would you do if you spotted a metre-long puff adder slithering across your carpet at 2am?
Well, if you were Camila Stucken of Lovemore Heights you would get up very quietly, calmly wake your husband and together catch the slippery customer and release it into the wild.
The Stuckens worked together to capture the venomous visitor who had slid into the family room early on Friday morning.
Camila, 46, said she had been struggling to sleep because of the heat and had decided, at about 2am, to read in the family room until she was able to nod off when she noticed the huge snake.
“It was surreal,” she said of the experience.
Unlike many others might have, Camila did not panic or scream.
She calmly filmed the puff adder before “getting up very quietly” and waking her husband, Nico, 45.
From there, the pair returned to the family room to find the snake in the corner of a room, under a curtain.
“We put tables around it as obstacles then put an open box down on its side,” Camila said adding that Nico had then fetched a garden fork and pushed the snake into the box.
She said the snake had seemed a little rattled at one point during the capture, hissing when the box was closed.
Once it was in the box, Nico took the snake down to a bushy area near their home and released it.
The next morning, armed with the video, she called Port Elizabeth snake expert Mark Marshall to ask a few questions.
Camila wanted to know if there would be more snakes and whether they had handled the situation correctly.
Marshall said on Sunday that had the puff adder been a female there would have been a good chance a male was hanging around close by.
But as luck would have it Marshall identified the snake as a male.
He explained that male puff adders have longer, thinner tails and different colouring from females.
Marshall said he had been most impressed with the calm manner in which Camila had dealt with the incident.
“The way they handled it was very well done,” he said, adding that puff adders were deadly.
“The have cytotoxic venom that affects the tissue,” he said.
With a laugh, Marshall said Camila, who has attended some of his talks on snakes, had told him she did not think she should call him at 2am.
“She thought that would be rude,” he chuckled.
Camila said yesterday that though they had seen snakes in the area before, they had never had one in the house.
While calm at the time, Camila said she had been a little worried about her four children and had gone into their bedrooms to check there were no snakes there.
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