Cape Snake Rescue

Overcome your fear.

   Sep 28

Nature needs your help

Snake decline prompts assistance from Capetonians

The City of Cape Town’s Biodiversity Management Branch is currently undertaking research on a unique and interesting snake species. The Rinkhals, a cobra-like snake which derives its name from the crossbars on its throat, is considered to be locally extinct in Cape Town.

The Rinkhals is an important component of Cape Town’s unique biodiversity. Any species extinction affects the balance of nature and in this case loosing the rinkhals, which functions as both a predator and prey species, may mean an increase in toad and rodent populations and the loss of food for other snakes and birds of prey.

The Rinkhals has not been officially recorded in any of the 30 nature reserves and natural areas that the City manages in over 10 years. However, this research aims to collect information from beyond conservation circles in an attempt to locate any populations that may remain, so that conservation measures can be implemented before it is too late.

In general it is best to leave snakes alone. Most bites occur when people either try to catch or kill a snake. If you come across a snake in your home or garden, contact a professionally trained snake handler or one of the City’s nature reserves in your area. Make sure to keep an eye on the snake at all times and keep pets and loved ones away.

Managing urban biodiversity would not be possible without the support of Capetonians and they are urged to assist the City of Cape Town’s Biodiversity Management Branch by forwarding any Rinkhals sightings that they may have had over the last 10 years to

Grant Smith: Tel 021 851 6982; Cell: 084 328 1001;

or E-mail helderbergnature.reserve@capetown.gov.za

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