Puff Adder camouflaged in KZN garden leaves scares homeowner
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Imagine doing a little gardening, only to discover a deadly snake coiled up in the leaves! That's exactly what happened to a Durban homeowner who got one major surprise when she realised she wasn't just raking up leaves. A Puff Adder had chosen her leaf-covered lawn to get cosy! That's when she called Snake Rescue's Nick Evans, who raced to the Upper Highway area to help. Puff Adders have keeled scales, giving their skin a slightly rough appearance as opposed to the smooth and sometimes shiny appearance of many other snake species. This, coupled with their chevron patters and mixed colors (usually yellow and black in Midlands, Drakensberg and shades of brown in Northern KZN), allows them to camouflage in the undergrowth really, really well. They thrive in grassland and savanna areas. On this occasion, it was in a garden, in a situation where it could easily have been stepped on! Puff Adders are responsible for many bites throughout South Africa and the rest of Africa. Interestingly, research has shown more often than not, if stepped on, they won't bite. Of course you don't know if your luck is in or not. "A friend of mine did telemetry tracking of Puff Adders. On more than one occasion, while trying to spot his signal-emitting Puff Adder in the Bush, he found it under his shoe! And they never bit him," says Nick.
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