IFAW East Africa: Tsavo West National Park Snake Rescue

Rock python - c. 2010 Keny Wildlife Service Snake rescue In Tsavo West National Park it is not only the Big Five (elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard) that are being given special attention, but also the more commonly disliked creatures like snakes. With the rainy season, snakes of all sorts and sizes start to move around, not all of them harmless. The local hospital in Mtito Andei on the Mombasa-Nairobi highway just outside Tsavo West’s main entrance gate, has reported six snake bite cases in just 2 days and the snake season normally carries on until June or even July.

This post was filed by Nana Grosse-Woodley from the International Fund
for Animal Welfare office in East Africa.

Rock python - c. 2010 Keny Wildlife Service Snake rescue
In Tsavo West National Park it is not only the Big Five (elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard) that are being given special attention, but also the more commonly disliked creatures like snakes. With the rainy season, snakes of all sorts and sizes start to move around, not all of them harmless. The local hospital in Mtito Andei on the Mombasa-Nairobi highway just outside Tsavo West’s main entrance gate, has reported six snake bite cases in just 2 days and the snake season normally carries on until June or even July.

This time of year sees a lot of complaints from neighbouring communities in regards to snakes taking up residency in villages or even houses. Large rock pythons, puff adders, spitting cobras and the deadly black mamba are always on the top of the complaint lists. Pythons become a nuisance as they take to killing goats and sheep, whilst the other snakes pose a threat to the people due to their poison.

Instead of allowing the villagers to go ahead and dispose of the snakes, KWS Tsavo West makes a big effort to go and rescue these reported snakes and take them back into safe environs inside the park.

IFAW donated a brand new Land Cruiser, which is of great assistance during these operations, supporting KWS and Tsavo West in particular to be able to attend to and solve these human/wildlife issues.

For more information on IFAW's work for wildlife in Africa, please visit www.ifaw.org/Kenya

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