Worldwide there are in the region of five million snakebites a year with around 100 000 deaths. One paper talks about 6500 bites annually in southern Africa but that could be much higher – we just don’t have the data. Read more here about the common myths around snakebites and the difficulties with reporting and press coverage.
I have established the African Snakebite Institute. There is a lot happening and the new website address is www.africansnakebiteinstitute.com. My webmaster has already loaded up two updated Dangerous Snakes of Southern Africa posters (free downloads) and Joleen Coetzee is busy with the German edition which will be followed by a Zulu edition. We’re also discussing a snakebite forum that will be linked to the website. So watch this space!
SOS Reptile Expo, Emerald Casino, Emperor’s Palace, Kempton Park
The African Snakebite Institute will have a stand at the above show, so please come and visit if you are in the area. I am busy with stickers and looking at branded T-shirts and caps. I will also have a variety of reptile books and posters on display, including the new Snakes of Zimbabwe and Botswana. And if you have any of my books, do bring them along for a signature.
A new shipment of snake tongs have just arrived and includes a collapsible 2 m snake tong that is ideal for snakes high up in trees or roofs as well as under beds or furniture in chalets, houses and industrial buildings.
The shipment of Micro Bag Valve Masks should be here soon and I already have a number of orders.
Turtleskin Snake Gaiters are manufactured in the USA and are now available locally at R1,450.00. They are light-weight, easy to wear and have been tested by myself against our venomous snakes including the Puff Adder. A good investment for fly-fishermen, hunters, hikers and people working in the field.
Gauteng: The next Gauteng Snake Awareness, Identification and First Aid for Snakebitecourse takes place at Heia Safari Ranch this coming Saturday 20 April 2013. It is a morning course and will be followed by a Venomous Snake Handling course after lunch (see attachment).
Durban: A Snake Awareness, Identification, First Aid for Snakebite and Medical Treatment of Snakebite course is being planned for 27 April in Durban – more to be announced soon. It is a morning course and will be followed by a Venomous Snake Handling course in the afternoon.
Bloemfontein: There are enough delegates for a course in Bloemfontein and a date will be announced soon. Please keep an eye on the website for dates or E-mail me for more particulars..