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Night Adder !


Staff member


So after a nice day of treasure hunting I come home and reach down to pull the dead leaf off the bottom of my hibiscus plant by the front door and see spots out of the corner of my vision. It was a rhombic night adder eating a toad. Not a big snake - maybe 50 or 60 cm if he was stretched out. They're not lethal to people, but their bites can be excruciatingly painful and destroy tissue. Knowing how allergic I am to various other kinds of bites I am sure glad he had his mouth full because he most definitely would have ruined the next part of my journey.

I watched him for a while as he pumped venom into the toad and wondered what I should do. My Dad would have run for the shovel or machete and killed him with much slashing and chopping... I walked up to the garage and got a shovel and came back. He had completed flipped around and was facing the other direction, toad still in mouth and partially swallowed. I thought, if I killed him, then what? What would I do with a dead snake? Bury it?

Instead I decided to let him be. He was having dinner after all and hadn't done me any harm. I am pretty sure my years as a kid in the Congo running through grass at night, and casually and fearlessly tramping through thick bush, I could have been bitten badly by any number of lethal snakes like puff adders, gaboon vipers or worse, but wasn't. So I figured sparing him the shovel was snake karma payback time. I just hope he and his snake brethren let me be for the next week or so.
I went to the garage to put m car, The Egg, away for the evening, and when I came back he was gone.


TRIBE Member
Well, this certainly one-ups my childhood memory of watching a garter snake devour a frog in a suburban backyard. Nice!