- A boomslang captured by a KZN farmer proceeded to lay eggs.
- Snake catcher Nick Evans says the eggs can take up to five months to incubate.
- Once they hatch, the offspring will be released into the wild.
KwaZulu-Natal snake expert Nick Evans came upon an unusual find on Sunday: a boomslang that laid eggs after a local farmer captured it.
Unusual, yes, but it’s not the first time the seasoned snake catcher has encountered this phenomenon.
“[On Saturday] night, a farmer, named Chris, in the Upper Highway area, was picking out wood out of his wood pile, for his braai,” says Evans.
“He discovered a snake, and managed to capture it.
“[On Sunday] morning, when he was about to release it, he noticed it had laid eggs in the container!”
Evans says the farmer sent him a picture and he could identify the serpent as a boomslang.
“This is the third one I’ve seen lay eggs pretty much straight after being captured,” says Evans.
“You might think it’s early for a snake to be laying eggs. Generally, yes. Most will lay in early summer. But boomslang mate in late summer, around March, so this is normal. I drove up to collect the eggs. It was such a beautiful area.”
Against killing snakes
Evans says Chris and his family are very snake friendly and they don’t believe snakes should be killed.
“They capture them and release them nearby. It’s always refreshing chatting to people with this attitude.
This female boomslang laid her eggs after being captured. (Nick Evans, Supplied)
Supplied Nick Evans
“The mother boomslang was beautiful. She had a bit more green than most female boomslang I see. Nothing like the usual colour of the males, though (bright green and black). Although sometimes, boomslang that look like a typical male turn out to be females.”
Evans says boomslang eggs aren’t usually as white as most other snake eggs.
Baby snakes will be released
“They’re more yellowish, like how some infertile eggs look, actually. They take much longer than most snakes to hatch. The last clutch uShaka incubated for me, took about five months, as opposed to two to three months,” says Evans.
Once the babies hatch, they will be released.
“Chris released the female soon after I left. Hopefully she can fatten up quickly and be ready to breed again, next mating season.”
Evans said it should be noted that mother snakes do not care for their young like many other animals.
“In the wild, they lay their eggs and leave them, except pythons. So taking her eggs and releasing her is not cruel whatsoever.”
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