Snakes becoming more active as summer approaches

This snake surfaced at the Woodlands Estate in Bloemfontein on Wednesday

The African Snake Bite Institute says snake bite reports are on the increase, as snake season approaches.

Well-known reptile expert, Johan Marais, says approximately 7 000 serious snake bites occur in South Africa annually, while the most snake bites happen between January and April in the early evening. Marais adds that out of the 171 different snake species in South Africa the Puff Adders remain the biggest problem.

Marais says Cape Cobras, also found in the Free State, are extremely dangerous and should be avoided. He says 99% of people hospitalised for a snake bite, survives.

“A lot of the snake bites that happened over the last few weeks has been people who tried to catch and handle snakes. Stay away from snakes as we are entering a busy period. If you are 3-4 metres away from any snake you are perfectly fine. If bitten it is very important not to try and suck out the venom. The most important thing to do however is to get the person safely to a hospital,” says Marais.