Save this number – it could save a life! 060 633 6054
As the temperatures rise and summer approaches, KwaZulu-Natal residents are more likely to come across snakes in their homes and gardens as the reptilian creatures become more active. It’s at this point that qualified snake handlers need to be alerted to assist with the safe removal of snakes and, for those living in and around Durban, renowned snake rescuers Simon Keys and Siouxsie Gillett, are just a call away.
The snake handling duo, who feature in the popular Nat Geo Wild television show, Snake City, have already been alerted to many snake callouts in the past few weeks. Anticipating the upcoming surge in snake activity, the herpetologists have advised on the steps to take when spotting a snake.
“If a snake is found inside the house then the first thing to do is close the door, cover any gaps with a rolled up towel, and close all the windows if at all possible,” advised Siouxsie. “If this means approaching the snake, then rather just keep a safe distance and focus on ensuring all pets and children are kept away. Giving a description of the snake is always helpful for the snake catchers but a person’s safety is priority so don’t get too close!”
In the case of a snake found outside the property, then they’re usually best left alone unless there is a serious concern for safety. In that instance, all animals and children should be kept away and someone should keep an eye on the snake until an expert arrives.
The eMdloti-based couple are currently filming another season of Snake City, an Earth Touch production that follows the charismatic couple as they attend to daring snake rescues. As soon as a call for a snake comes in, the film crew – all of whom live in close proximity – is quickly assembled and the Snake City team head out to attend to the call, all of which is filmed. In the run-up to filming the new season, they have already been out on a number of call outs, particularly after the recent flash floods and subsequent warm weather.
“Snake activity is very weather dependent and we usually have call outs when the weather warms up after a cold, rainy day,” explained Simon. “We generally attend to about two to three calls a day with some days just back-to-back calls. There’ll be more sightings as we get into summer, with snakes remaining active until May or even June.”
Some of the common species that Simon and Siouxsie attend to are bush snakes, house snakes, herald snakes, as well as black and green mambas. “Probably 9 times out of 10, any green snake we’re called out to is a bush snake that’s been mistaken for a green mamba, but we don’t want to take a chance!” said Siouxsie.
Passionate about the welfare of snakes, Simon and Siouxsie will travel vast distances to assist in their safe removals. They cover all of central Durban, Inanda, Camperdown and inland to Pietermaritzburg. Heading north, they will go to Tugela and beyond if necessary, and, in instances where they are busy on another rescue, the two rely on a vast network of like-minded professional snake rescuers who can assist in their stead.
As soon as the pair has a break from call outs, they will locate a suitable habitat for snake release, far from human habitation.
Audiences can view this British snake-catching duo on season 4 of Snake City, brought to television screens by, Earth Touch, every Monday at 6pm on Nat Geo Wild. The couple also shares useful insights on snakes with the public during their informative Facebook Live sessions on the ‘Snake City Fans’ page every Monday at 1pm.
For your own safety and for that of the snake, contact Simon and Siouxsie on 060 633 6054 for any snake removals.
— Arrive Alive (@_ArriveAlive) November 11, 2015