A ‘cool’ snake!

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Sal (on Facebook) was the first to get the correct answer. We found this Puff Adder at Thanda House under a stack of fire wood. Due to the cold temperature it was very slow and did not react at all when Letishia took a piece of wood from the pile and discovered the snake.

I captured it and relocated it this morning away from Thanda House. After the release it took a few minutes before this incredibly camouflaged sake moved into the undergrowth.

Puff Adders are one of the most dangerous snakes in Africa. They have a very potent cytotoxic venom and are one of the fastest-striking snakes on earth. Due to the relatively low temperatures at this time of the year this specimen showed no aggression and could be handled quite easily.

This series of pictures were taken by Warren Beets (Thanda Reserve Manager) and myself during the release operation. Thanks Warren!

Well hidden! 20150905 - CS1_0886 - SPC

This picture shows me transferring the Puff Adder from the transport barrel to nice spot on the ground (near some undergrowth). 20150905 - CS1_0889 - E

Placing it on the ground 20150905 - CS1_0894 - E

Just in front of my GoPro camera 20150905 - CS1_0883 - E

This is the release from the GoPro angle 20150905 - CS8_1049 - E

And then the snake disappeared into the bush 20150905 - CS1_0897 - E

 

Rare Sightings!

Sorry for not blogging for a few days. I was very busy guiding and teaching photography. Now I am off work for seven days 🙂

So, I thought I share a few recent and very Thanda special sightings with you.

We spotted a small Serval on the fence to our base camp. This was my first Serval sighting at Thanda …

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… our dominant male Lion got quite a fright when he almost stepped on this Puff Adder in the dark. The snake gave him a warning hiss and continued on its path …

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.. and another first for me was a Secretary Bird hunting on our savanna …

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… and last but not least two of my favorite Rhino images from the last two weeks. A Rhino illuminated with red light walking at moonlight and …

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… a Rhino having a mud bath – pure bliss!

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No Glass!

Puff Adder, Snouted Cobra, Boomslang and Black Mamba!

From my days at the Nashville Zoo I was used to see venomous snakes only from behind glass or from a great distance. During my first open-air session at Khamai Reptile Centre (www.khamai.co.za) I had some great encounters with a few venomous snakes. The snake handlers at Khamai were very competent and I learned a lot about the animals.

And I got some great photo opportunities. All pictures were taken from eye level (= me lying in the grass on my belly :-)). The only exception was the Black Mamba pictures which I took standing up during a feeding session. In the picture you only see the tail of the mouse, but you can see the black color of the mouth lining which gives the Black Mamba its name.

Today I already got to handle a Puff Adder. Tomorrow follows a full day of snake handling – I am looking forward to it.

PS: Rick, Heather, Dale and Steve from the Nashville Zoo: You would love it out here 🙂