The highest concentration of one of the most venomous snakes in the world is located about 90 miles off the coast of Santos, Brazil, on a small, craggy chunk of otherwise uninhabitable land. It’s known as Ilha da Queimada Grande, or Snake Island, and it’s the only place you will find 2,000 or so of the wholly unique golden lancehead viper, or Bothrops insularis. When you step ashore, with a keen eye you spot one of these snakes roughly every 10 to 15 minutes after clearing the base of the island, and as many as one every six square yards in other parts of the island. This means, as you are walking through the waist-high brush, even with some good boots on, it’s like walking through a minefield that moves and, instead of blowing you into chunks, slowly paralyzes you and liquefies your insides, as the golden lancehead does to the migrating birds it feeds on in the treetops.
“Before you delve into these documentaries, there’s one more thing I should mention. Though I believe it’s important for us to be aware of our surroundings, and more so for the community’s leadership, we must never forget that the best source of guidance is the speech of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) – the Qur’an, the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (peace be upon him), and the knowledge of the scholars (may Allah preserve the ones alive and have mercy on the ones that have passed). Above all, we should turn to the Qur’an for enlightenment and guidance. A truly successful personality and truly successful society can only be built via the lessons and implementation of the concepts outlined in the Book of Allah. Without true internal direction from the heart, there can be no true external direction for society. And Allah knows best.” – Suhaib Webb
A 1m long SPOTTED BUSH SNAKE (?) (non-venomous) was seen before lunchtime in the rafters of the dining area at Zingela bush camp beside the Tugela River, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, on Saturday 12 January 2013. The snake discovered a very large and battle-worn Wahlberg’s Velvet gecko (Homopholis wahlbergii)(which I had seen a few times in the area previously).
After attacking the gecko in the rafters, the snake and its prey fell to the floor. It’s at that moment, with the gecko retaliating, that I arrived with my movie camera. The whole event lasted about 40 minutes. This is a very tightly-edited, 10-minute movie of the event with most of the battle for survival by the gecko shown, and a VERY shortened conclusion. The retaliation of the gecko was both a natural reaction (as geckos do) as well as highly intelligent by clamping the snake’s mouth closed, and by holding the snake behind its head. Don’t ignore the agility of the gecko to avoid being bitten on its head.
(The snake has variously been thought to be a Philothamnus hoplogaster [green water snake] or a P. natalensis [Natal green snake] or *even* a P. angolensis [Angola green snake] and thought probably a Philothamnus semivariegatus [spotted bush snake]!) Snake specialist, Lynn Raw, suggests it is a Western Natal Green Snake [Philothamnus natalensis occidentalis] because “The iris colour in a bush snake is orangey-red-brown while this one is dark and greenish.” The gecko is thought to be very far south of its normal range – St Lucia – but the Tugela valley is very warm and suitable for this gecko.)