A Black Spitting Cobra has found a home at the McGregor Museum in Kimberley in the Northern Cape. The rare species is usually found in the Western Cape, Namibia and western parts of the Northern Cape.
Its sighting in the area has left conservationists baffled.
They suspect it may have travelled from western parts of the country to Kimberley. The cobra thrives in dry and arid conditions.
The Black Spitting Cobra is one of Africa’s most private and shy snakes. The home owner where the black cobra was found, 58-year-old Frans Odendal says he was surprised to see he had an unexpected slithering visitor.
Odendal says the dangerous visitor was discovered after his wife heard faint hissing sounds. Upon investigating, they stumbled across the 1.2 meter serpent.
“He was eyeing me all the time and at the time he spit at me, but thank God it was an immediate instinct and I take my head to the left and some of the drops were on the left side of my head but it burn a little and had little irritation but otherwise it was okay,” said Odendal .
Snake handler Dawie Griesl says those who encounter venomous snakes should not engage them, but immediately call for help.
“When you see a snake in the yard call the professional guys to remove it. The important thing is to look at where the snake is going in a safe way. Then keep an eye on it until professionals arrive to safely remove it . Because when the snake is gone in the house it’s difficult for us to remove it because we don’t know where it is,” Griesl said.
Head of ecology at the MacGregor Museum, Beryl Wilson, says even though snake smuggling has become highly prevalent in the province, it is most likely that the cobra hid under a camper’s gear, who unknowingly transported the serpent to the area where it was found.
“It came as a complete surprise that it occurred here in fact we thought it was a case of mistaken identity and that it was just a Black Cape Cobra. So the assumption at this is that it came in as a hitchhiker from somebody who maybe went fishing on the west coast or went to Alexander Bay, Springbok area or even from Namibia perhaps,” said Wilson.
The MacGregor Museum is likely be to the Black Spitting Cobra’s last resting place, as conservationists are unable to pinpoint its origins.