City of Ekurhuleni

Ekurhuleni Press Releases



We are well into the Spring season and the weather is nice and warm. This also means that snakes will be up and about, after a long period of hibernation, hungry and in search of food.

The City cautions residents to be on high alert, and also to keep an eye on their domestic pets as they may fall prey to snakes.

Snake season is from mid-August until late May. A number of snakes which are harmless to humans, such as the brown house snake, Arora house snake, olive house snake and red-lipped snake, are likely to be found in backyard gardens searching for food - like rats, frogs and even cats.

Due to their harmless and less defensive nature, these species tend to be easily killed or captured as pets, an illegal and punishable act if one does not have a legal permit.

Meanwhile, snakes such the puff adder and rinkhals are extremely dangerous, with the puff adder known to be very 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.

Things to do when you come across a snake:

Give the snake a right of way;

You can scream and shout, but don't jump or move;

Keep a distance of about 5m from the snake as some snakes can spit poison;

Watch where the snake ends up so as to assist to locate the reptile once you've contacted an expert;

Do not try to kill the snake, this may lead to the danger of snake bites;

Call for help.

What to do if bitten by a snake, spat on in the eyes or an open wound:

Do not panic;

Do not run or try to drive yourself;

Do not take it for granted;

Get medical attention as soon as possible.

Should you come across a snake on your property contact Christopher Mthombeni on 011 999 3029 / 083 239 7774 or e-mail for assistance. You can also contact a local snake expert for assistance. 

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