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HomePet NewsExotic Pet NewsSnake catcher removes 4m, 26kg python from farm

Snake catcher removes 4m, 26kg python from farm


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Durban — KwaZulu-Natal South Coast snake catcher Sarel van der Merwe removed and relocated a 26kg, 4m southern African python.

Van der Merwe said that on Monday he and Paul Crook had a call-out in Port Edward for a southern African python. He said a farmer’s wife phoned him and said: “I have a big python between the banana plants and the staff want to kill it.”

Sarel van der Merwe with the southern African python. Picture: Sarel van der Merwe

He said he asked them to watch the snake until he arrived.

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Van der Merwe said that he worked alone when removing a python because having more than one person could result in them falling over each other, and that is when one could get bitten.

“I just went behind him, grabbed him very quickly behind the head and pulled him out,” Van der Merwe said.

He said half the python’s body was lying in water, so he had to watch his steps to avoid also ending up in the water.

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Sarel van der Merwe and Paul Crook putting the southern African python in the travel box. Picture: Sarel van der Merwe

He said that once the python was pulled out, he put it in a dry place and then in a travel box.

“I did weigh him, he was 26kg and just over 4m,” Van der Merwe said. He added that he had caught much bigger pythons. However, this python was a “nice size”, he said.

Van der Merwe thanked the farmers for caring and getting him to remove the python.

Sarel van der Merwe, farmer Ken and Paul Crook with the southern African python. Picture: Sarel van der Merwe

He added that southern African pythons were a protected species in southern Africa and were listed as vulnerable in the latest South Africa Red Data Book, therefore they could not be captured or killed.

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“In South Africa, it is the only one of its kind; a very large and bulky snake that cannot be easily confused with other snakes,” Van der Merwe said.

On Tuesday, he released the snake on a farm in Umtentweni.

He also thanked the farmer for his help and for allowing them to release the python on his property.

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