Where do those snakes go?

Check credentials of snake removers

The response from last month’s article didn’t exactly blow me away, but having had two positive e-mails and three pictures of snakes that hadn’t met the Sword of Damocles, I’d like to thank you all.

Which brings me to my next crusade – now that I’ve got the attention of some of you. “Remember the Rhino?” Now that’s a headline I’m dreading, and I’m hoping that we’ll never reach that point; the point where we’ve killed, eaten, worn or erected monuments for, every creature and plant that ever lived on this earth – excluding us humans of course.

We’re the key to the future aren’t we? But I have to ask, what future?

Why do we sell our precious heritage?

Just think about this. On this continent we are still blessed to have the most incredible range of flora and fauna, giving us perhaps the most envied environment anywhere in the world. So why is it that at the same time, we appear to be going out of our way to sell this precious heritage to the highest bidder, with no thought for the consequences of our actions? It’s all about money in the bank.

Some years back, a few visiting “entomologists” were apprehended at a border post in the process of illegally exporting a considerable number of our special scarab beetles which they had persuaded rural people – for a financial consideration of course – to collect on their behalf, for research purposes. Why not take a pair and breed their own?

Government officials on their books?

Known Asian countries have infiltrated the cores of many of our law-enforcement bodies, they allegedly have local dignitaries, officials of government, employees of the various bodies tasked with protecting our wildlife etc on their “books” and are actively raping this continent of its wildlife heritage to the point where it’s rapidly becoming unsustainable.

On my verandah on the farm when…

But apart from the dedicated handful who man the battlements, who else cares? Buying a plastic rhino horn might show people you care, but it’s going to take more than that to stop the carnage.

Now, about the neighbours. I recently heard of people claiming to want to photograph snakes in the wild, while at the same time offering to help out by removing – free of charge – “problem” snakes from the areas they visit. Many years back, catching a snake in the back garden and selling it to the local snake park was seen as a way of earning extra cash. This has however thankfully faded away. Unfortunately that now seems to have been replaced by an altogether more evil alternative, the lucrative and environmentally destructive business we see all around us. We have to stop it.

Further articles by Pat McKrill

Before phoning someone to remove a snake, I implore you to do some checking via reputable channels, and keep a few names handy, of reputable snake removers in your vicinity. They can verify the fact that the snakes they remove for you will be released back into a similar environment, and not sold to the highest bidder.

In the picture: Keep a few names handy of reputable snake removers in your vicinity. They can verify the fact that the snakes they remove will be released back into a similar environment, and not sold to the highest bidder for some untold abuse.

Picture: Getty Images