From store room to freedom!

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This morning I had to “rescue” a Mozambique Spitting Cobra. This snake had lost her way into one of Thanda store rooms. Someone spotted it disappearing behind a cabinet in the room.

Lodge management called me to capture the snake and to remove it to a new home. First I had to empty out the cabinet (hundreds of cans and bottles :-)) to be able to move it and to get to the snake hidden behind.

Once the cabinet was out of the way the Cobra did, what Cobras do. It opened it’s hood and made hizzing sounds to scare me away. I used a “snake grabbing stick” to capture it (20 cm behind the head) and carried it out of the room holding it also by its tail.

Once safely lodged in a special snake barrel I drove the snake to one of Thanda’s waterholes. Thanks to Jarred Glasson, Thanda’s Head Guide, I have some images of me releasing the snake at its new home!

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More about Mozambique Spitting Cobra (Naja mossambica)…

It is native to Africa. The average length of adults is between 90cm – 105cm (3-3½ feet). This species prefers localities near water, to which it will readily take when disturbed. It is considered one of the most dangerous snakes in Africa. It can spit its venom. Its bite causes severe local tissue destruction. Venom to the eyes can also cause impaired vision or blindness. This cobra’s diet mainly consists of amphibians, other snakes, birds, eggs, small mammals, and even insects occasionally. This snake is nervous and highly strung. When confronted at close quarters it can rear up to as much as two-thirds of its length, spread its long narrow hood and will readily “spit” in defense, usually from a reared-up position. By doing this the venom can be ejected at a distance of 2-3 metres (6½-10 feet), with remarkable accuracy. The spitting cobra does bite depending on its environment and the situation it is in, and also feigns death to avoid further molestation.

Night-drive sighting!

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My guests enjoyed this very special sighting of a small insect. Skillfully light by Bheki’s spotlight I took this shot of a Katydid. To get a shot on eye level I had to stretch out on the ground. This picture is a prime example why “wildlife-eye-level-photography” is so important.

Picture by Christian Sperka – Specialist Photography Guide and Resident Wildlife Photographer – Thanda Private Game Reserve.
More about …

Insects in the family Tettigoniidae are commonly called katydids or bush-crickets. There are more than 6,400 species. They are also known as long-horned grasshoppers, although they are more closely related to crickets than to any type of grasshopper. Many tettigoniids exhibit mimicry and camouflage, commonly with shapes and colors similar to leaves.