The field guide’s hand with the puff adder bite marks. Photo supplied 

Puff adder strikes field guide


Justin Steyn   l   Views: 166

A field guide at a game lodge outside of Bela-Bela is recovering in hospital after being struck on his hand by the highly-venomous puff adder.

According to the Waterberg Advanced Paramedics Assistance’s spokesman, Andy Gill, the incident took place on Wednesday, 26 July.

“We were called to a game lodge in the area for a patient who was bitten by a puff adder.

On arrival the hand was already swollen and puncture marks were evident,” he said.

He said the man was placed on a drip, his arm immobilized, and was then transported to a hospital in Pretoria, which had anti-venom in stock.

Bela-Bela snake catcher, Cor Viljoen, said he took note of the situation and gave The BEAT a rundown on puff adder bites.

“These snakes are not naturally dangerous unless provoked. Most common bites occur when the snake is stepped on,” he said.

According to Viljoen, puff adders favour flat arreas where they can hide and catch prey.

“They will be found in areas that are flat and with a lot of scattered leaves or rubble. This makes it easier for them to ambush prey which consists mostly of rats.”

Geographically, Viljoen said most puff adders in Bela-Bela could be found in Noodhulp and Eersbewoon.

When bitten by a puffadder, Viljoen advised people not to panic, but to seek medical help.

“Walking around gradually should help in thinning the venom. Seek medical assistance as quickly as possible. Puff adder bites very seldom have fatal results, but one can never be sure,” Viljoen explained.

9 months ago       03 August 2017