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snake Safety Tips!

20-08-2015

Spring is around the corner which means snakes will start to move again.

I feel this is the perfect time to give some advice on basic snake safety.

This will include the following:

How to keep your yard snake free.
What to do incase you encounter a snake.
Avoiding snakebite.
Basic first aid.

So starting of with with "snake proofing"

There are NO effective snake repellents

1. Avoid storing building materials such as bricks, pipes and sheets of iron near the house.
2. Avoid compost heaps, rockeries, aviaries, chicken coops, fish ponds and loose rocks , as they may provide a source of food or suitable hiding spots
3. Avoid creeping plants, tick hedges and shrubs especially against house walls and open windows
4. Store animal feed in rat proof containers. Note all buildings should be kept snake free. Where there's rats there's going to be snakes.
5. Close off all of the cracks/holes where snakes might fit through.
( reference snakes and snakebite in southern Africa)

What to do incase you encounter a snake:

1. Do Not try to kill the snake as this may result in a bite!
2. Keep a calm head. Stand absolutely still-most snakes will flee immediately. If the snake stands it's groud, however, retreat slowly.
3. Contact your nearest snake catcher to deal with the situation.

Avoiding snakebite:

1. Wear proper clothing when walking in the veld preferably boots and long trousers.
2. Wear sunglasses as this provides protection against spitting cobras.
3. Watch your step. Rather step on to logs and rocks and not over them
4. Do not collect fire wood at dusk or at night that's looking for trouble.
5. If you're a mountaineer be careful where you place your hands, as many snakes like to bask on the ledges.
6. Do not pick up any snake no matter how harmless it may seem.
7. Do not pick up what appears to be a dead snake, as some venomous species shame death.
8. Use flash light when walking at nigh and keep your eyes open.

Basic first aid:

1. Keep victims calm and reassured.
2. Remove jewellery and tight clothing.
3. Victim must lie down and kept as still as possible.
4. Elevate limb and transport to Hospital.
5. Pressure bandages should ONLY be applied to Neurotoxic snake bites!! ( black mamba, Cape cobra, anchietas cobra)
6. If you cannot ID the snake apply a pressure bandage. Note this should NOT be used on adder and spitting cobra bites.
7. If victim stops breathing resort to mouth to mouth resuscitation.

DO NOT:

1.Cut or suck.
2. Apply tourniquet.
3. Apply ice or give victim ice.
4. Inject anti venom as a first aid measure.

In case of venom in the eye:

1.Rinse it out with running water for 10-15min.
2.avoid rubbing eyes.
3. Seek medical attention.
4. Do not attempt to kill the snake rather take a picture from a safe distance
( reference Snakes and Snakebite in southern Africa)

The best snake bite Doctor in Namibia is non other than Christo Buys.
In case of snakebite email snakebite to snakebitedoc@gmail.com with all of your details Dr Buys will respond ASAP.

Bellow the list of snake catchers in Windhoek:

Francois Theart: 0812900343
Mike Böttger:0811297304
Brendon Barnard:0812194873

Please check the pinned post for the emergency numbers. Most of our snake catchers are on call 24/7.

Despite their notorious reputation snakes are often misunderstood and would prefer to flee rather than to fight. These magnificent animals are far more important than we realize. Without snakes our ecosystem will collapse and we might never find a cure for cancer.

Please share this info far and wide!

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