Yesterday at around midday I sat on my couch in my living room to enjoy the first bit of “down time” I had had in weeks. I flicked on the TV and just as I started to drift of to sleep and into la la land my phone rang. It was Roger Parry from the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust. I knew this could only mean one thing…….SNAKE !
Roger informed me that a python had found it’s way into the thatched roof of a Jambezi Village Anglican Church and the community was quite keen to see it gone. Under normal circumstances in Zimbabwe this would normally lead to the prompt execution of the snake by the villagers but thanks to the amazing work put in by the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust and their Community Guardians around Human Animal Conflict, the incident was reported and the snake was allowed to live as long as it was safely removed.
So I jumped in my car and shot off in the direction of Mkhosana to pick up Bongani Dlodlo, The VFWT Community Conservation Representative, to show me the way to Jambezi. I didn’t realise how far it was gonna be. By the time I had gotten about a third of the way I realised I was definitely gonna run out of petrol on the way home. Luckily Zimbo’s are a resourceful bunch and again through the community guardians we managed to source 5 litres of fuel from the Jambezi community.
When Bongani and I arrived at the Church, the whole congregation was outside and
very excited to catch a glimpse of the snake. I went inside and the snake was clearly visible and in a very nice position. This is a welcome change as normally they are in the most awkward to reach places. With a few gently pokes and prods from a long stick the python gave up it’s position and started to slowly climb down the poles holding up the roof.
Every now and then trying to climb up another but with gentle persuasion from me it climbed all the way down until it was within reach. A clean capture ! After a few photos with the Villagers I placed the snake safely in a transportaion box and Bongani and I set off on our way back home.
Today after giving the snake a quick health evaluation, I reported to the Zimbabwe National Parks Authority and later released the snake within Zambezi National park right next to the Zambezi river. Take a look at the release video below…..
Special Thanks must go to The Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust for their efforts in Human Animal conflict resolution, without which this animal would surely have met a different fate. Give them your support and if you can please donate towards their efforts.
I would also like to thank the Headman and Villagers of Jambezi for the warm welcome and for putting conservation first in this matter.