Venomous snake found in Christmas tree

The snake found in the tree – a boomslang – is among the most dangerous in the world

Celine Wadhera
Tuesday 14 December 2021 12:58
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<p>Boomslang snake </p>

Boomslang snake

A British family living near Cape Town in South Africa received an unexpected guest ahead of Christmas, when a venomous snake poked its head out from their Christmas tree.

Rob and Marcela Wilde, from Hertfordshire, had just finished decorating their Christmas tree with their children 11-year-old Edward and 6-year-old Sahara when they spotted the snake.

Mr Wild told the Mirror: “We’d just decorated the tree and the kids were putting the presents beneath it before turning the lights on.

“We were admiring our work when my wife Marcela pointed to our two cats and said she thought there might be a mouse in the tree as they were staring at it.

“Marcela went to have a look and moved a bauble and saw a snakes head staring straight back at her.

“She gave a shriek and shouted ‘snake’ and we all got back.”

Boomslang in Christmas tree

After a quick Google search, Mr Wild said that he determined the snake was a boomslang – the most poisonous snake in South Africa and one of the most dangerous snakes in the world. Its poison is slow working, but compromises blood coagulation, leading many victims to slowly bleed to death internally. Without the antidote, a single bite can prove fatal.

The Wild family proceeded to call snake catcher Gerrie Heyns who advised them not to let the snake out of their sight until he arrived, to ensure the snake did not find another hiding place in their home.

“It wasn’t an easy catch as it was very nippy and it kept going up and down and round and round the tree and I was trying not to upset the decorations or lights” Mr Heyns told the Mirror.

“They won’t attack unless they feel extremely threatened and only to defend themselves and I suspect this one slipped into the house to get shade,” he added.

In a video of the ordeal, the green coloured snake can be seen slithering amongst the branches of the Wild family’s Christmas tree, often extending itself into thin air while anchored to the tree.

“I wish there were lots of things under the tree on Christmas day, but not a four-foot poisonous snake,” Mr Wild said.

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