Urban expansion and Mother Nature clashed after a huge python was found at a construction site in Umhlanga on Wednesday.
Speaking to News24 on Thursday, head of Universal Reptiles – a snake removal company – Jason Arnold, said the 31 kg African Rock python was 3.8-metres long and was rescued from Izinga Park.
“Workers had seen the snake a few times, over a period of a week, basking in the sun. I went over on Tuesday, waited for two hours, but it didn’t show. Workers at the site said they would call me when it did appear.”
And sure enough, the snake appeared the following day.
“It had come out to bask in the sun. It was among a large pile of leaves and branches. It was quite the struggle getting it out of there, but the battle lasted just seven minutes. Although, I have to say, it was incredibly strong,” Arnold said.
Arnold added the natural Hawaiian forest adjacent to the site was the reason a snake of that size had been found so close to an urban area.
“Normally we find these pythons in rural or more natural areas. However, the patch of nature would have left the snake feeling comfortable despite all the proximity to humans. Sadly, we had to remove it because of the potential for human contact,” he said.
On Thursday, Ezemvelo Wildlife’s eThekwini conservation officer, Johann Vermeulen, said the snake had not yet been released.
“Because of the lack of light and heat, we felt it would be better to release it during warmer sunnier weather. The snake is in excellent health and will be released soon.”
Pythons are not venomous, but can be dangerous as they overpower and constrict their prey.