A snake catcher was called at a property in the Western Cape, South Africa, after the resident family discovered one of Africa’s most venomous snakes, a boomslang, hiding in their Christmas tree. “The cats were peering into the tree and my wife said ‘there’s probably a mouse in there somewhere,” the father, Rob Wild, 55 old, a British stock market trader who moved to South Africa 18 years ago, declared after incident. “Once I had it under control the family came right up to see the snake. It didn’t try to bite or be defensive because I gave it no reason to. A scary moment turned into an exciting moment for the children,” the professional snake catcher said. He also said this was the first time it was ever called to remove a snake from a Christmas tree.
The snake was female and between 1.3 meters (4.3 feet) and 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) long. This snake is diurnal and almost exclusively arboreal, moving from branche to branche. It has a highly potent venom, primarily a hemotoxin; it disables the coagulation process and the victim may die as a result of internal and external bleeding. The South African Vaccine Producers manufactures a monovalent antivenom for use in boomslang envenomations but treatment of bites may also require complete blood transfusions. However the boomslang is a timid snake.