Animals

Venomous snake found lurking in family’s Christmas tree

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Rob and Marcella Wilde wasted no time in calling a professional after they discovered one of Africa’s most venomous snakes hiding among trinkets and trinkets in their South African home on Friday.

After they had decorated the tree a few hours earlier, they watched their cats stare at its branches.

“The cats were looking at the tree and my wife said ‘There’s probably a rat out there somewhere,'” Rob Wilde, a British stock market trader who moved with his Costa Rican wife to South Africa 18 years ago, told CNN on Tuesday.

They soon discover a somewhat different animal staring back – a boomsling.

“I didn’t know what it was at the time, but then I Googled the snakes in our area and it immediately showed up as snakes. I thought ‘Holy Moses, this is the king of all poisonous snakes,'” he said, yr.

The boomslang is known as a shy species, but it is among the most venomous in Africa. Animal venom causes bleeding and can be fatal to humans in small amounts.

The Wilde family discovered the deadly serpent in their home in the Western Cape.

Snake hunter, Jerry Hines, confirmed the animal’s identity when he arrived at the family’s property in Robertson, Western Cape, shortly thereafter. Hines told CNN on Tuesday that the snake was a female and was between 1.3 meters (4.3 feet) and 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) long.

He said he ordered the family to stay away from the tree, but to “keep their eyes on the snake” until he arrived.

“The snake stayed in the tree for two hours until I got there,” Haines said. He added that he used “snake tongs” to put them on the ground, where they are “easy to handle.”

“Once I got it under control, the family immediately came to see the snake,” Hines said. “She didn’t try to bite or be defensive because I didn’t give a reason for it. It turned out to be a scary moment into a thrilling moment for the kids.”

The snake hunter, Jerry Hines, retrieved the animal from the family tree.

Then he grabbed her behind her neck and put her in a “snake tube”. As night fell, Haines took the reptile home where he temporarily placed it in a snake enclosure before releasing it back into the wild on Sunday.

Haines said the snake may have entered the property in search of food, water, and shelter.

“Maybe when she saw the first movement she tried to escape to the nearest hiding place, which is the tree,” he said.

Haines, who has removed hundreds of snakes from South African homes, said bites from a bombsling are rare.

Haines said that in his eight years of professional hunting, he was bitten only once — that’s because he didn’t realize the animal had been shot and was acting defensively.

“They (snakes) are very reluctant to bite but they have been demonized a lot,” he added.

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