13 October 2015

Snake on a Plane

It's one thing clearing animals from runways before landing, or loading clients with elephant trundling throw the bushes in the background.
But it's quite another when a snake decides to make your plane it's new hiding spot.

I landed at Piajio airstrip and went to offload bags and freight from the Airvan pod. When I opened the pod door I felt something against my leg, and before I knew it a snake had seemingly leapt into the pod. Thank goodness I was at the Caracal Biodiversity Centre in Kasane recently, where I had the opportunity to handle snakes of various shapes and sizes, otherwise I probably would have freaked out.

We determined it was most likely a sand snake, but I still removed the bags with care in case it decided to strike (nevermind the fact that it was this tiny little thing, you can never be too careful). When I had all the bags out, we coaxed it out with two sticks, where it promptly tried to get back IN the pod.

Quite little guy, it's an Psammophis subtaeniatus... don't worry I can't pronounce that either.

Also known as the Western Stripe-Bellied Sand Snake.