Two recent horrible incidents have left snake catcher Sarel van der Merwe dismayed, and he is urging anyone who comes across a snake to contact him before considering harming it.
The first incident happened in Shelly Beach last Friday.
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Sarel was called out by a security company for a black mamba that gone down a hole adjacent to a client’s pool pump.
“While searching for the snake, the officer casually mentioned that he had poured boiling water down the hole an hour earlier,” said Sarel.
“I was disgusted and furious at what he had done, as obviously the snake would be dead, and furthermore it was a waste of my time as I had had many other call-outs to attend to. He killed that snake in such a cruel way.”
The second incident occurred on Monday this week, when he was called to Marburg where a motorist had deliberately run over a black mamba in the road.
Sarel arrived at Pelican Road, and immediately started searching the area where the snake was said to have disappeared. After a few minutes of searching, he found the badly injured snake, which later died.
“This poor animal suffered an unnecessarily painful death, due to someone’s selfish actions. These inhumane actions also put other people’s lives (including my own) at risk as injured snakes are much more volatile to handle. This snake could quite easily have been left alone and it would have slithered off into the bushes on its own, endangering nobody,” said Sarel.
So what should you do if you come across a snake?
Firstly, save Sarel’s number (082 6831604 or 039 3150233) onto your cellphone; if possible snap a photo of the snake and send it to Sarel for identification.
If all else fails, give him a call.
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