7 ways to ensure your safety during a snake encounter

Conservationist Tim Neary says misconceptions about snakes make them feared.

Neary explains that snakes are not poisonous, but rather venomous; and that trying to identify them may be asking for trouble.

The best way of dealing with snakes is to let them get on with their lives - and keep your fingers away from them!

Tim Neary, conservationist

These are the most important things to do during a snake encounter:

  • Keep your distance (a metre or more).
  • Do not try and pick it up.
  • If you must relocate the snake, move it using a dark object such as covered a pipe or bucket.
  • Relocate the snakes a good distance away from human activity.
  • Avoid trying to identify a snake. Snake bites are mostly treated by symptom, not by species.
  • Never try and catch a snake if you or someone has been bitten.
  • If bitten by a snake, do not treat the bite by attempting to cut or suck out venom.

Listen to the full conversation from the Weekend Breakfast with Africa and Sam:

Neary recommends the African Snake Bite Institute website for more information by author and herpetologist Johan Marais.

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