Snake rescued from beach

Sarel van der Merwe with the olive house snake.

SOUTH Coaster Desiree Heynacker  was walking her dogs along the sand at Shelly Beach, when she spotted a snake.

“Luckily the dogs hadn’t noticed and had walked past it. It was coiled up in a big knot and I thought it was dead. I flicked some sand at it and to my surprise, I saw it was alive.”

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“I didn’t know what kind of snake it was and I didn’t want my dogs to get bitten,” said Desiree.

She took her dogs home and called snake catcher Sarel van der Merwe, of Pure Venom Reptile Park, who responded immediately.

They met at the beach and Desiree  showed Sarel where the snake was.

The olive house snake found on Shelly Beach.

The olive house snake found on Shelly Beach.

Sarel identified the snake as a harmless olive house snake, which could have been swept down a river and then washed onto the shore.

Worried the salinity of the salt water could have affected the creature, Sarel took it back to Pure Venom and gave it a wash in fresh water.

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After a good night’s rest it was released back into the wild.

These days, Sarel is too busy catching snakes for a game a golf. Always cracking a joke, Sarel chirped that he had traded his golf cubs in for snake catcher sticks.

“This is my sport, and I love what I do.”


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Shona Aylward

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