Python captured at Otjiwarongo army base

18 Nov 2013 18:10pm
OTJIWARONGO, 18 NOV (NAMPA) – Activities at the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) military base at Otjiwarongo came to a standstill for some four hours on Monday, after soldiers spotted a young python hiding under the hood of an army truck.
Otjiwarongo Army Base Commander, Colonel Alfeus Ndaipopawa told Nampa on Monday that the python had successful hid itself under the hood of the truck which was parked in the army garage two days ago.
Ndaipopawa said shortly after 08h00 on Monday, the army truck driver started the truck engine and then slowly drove it near the assembly point inside the base.
“The driver told me that after he parked the truck near the assembly point, he opened the hood and suddenly saw a python moving out of the truck and climbing a tree inside the army base,” the base commander said.
The soldiers called game rangers from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to come and remove the snake.
It took the game rangers four hours to remove the python from the tree.
Game Ranger Victor Shituleni teamed up with two other private snake experts in Otjiwarongo to remove the python.
He said the python measured about 2.6 metres in length, and he expects it to be about 10 years old.
To get to the snake, Shituleni and his team first had to cut down several tree branches before capturing the python by holding on to its tail and neck.
In Namibia, pythons are protected species under the Nature Conservation Ordinance Act of 1975; Section 27 (1), which prohibits people from killing them.
“We have now successfully captured it from the army base, our next step will be to release it in the bushes because it is a member of the protected animal species in the country,” said Shituleni.
However, Nicolas Neumbo, a soldier at the Otjiwarongo Army Base was not happy to hear that the snake would be released into the wild.
“We called them here because we wanted this snake dead. It might return here and attack one of us,” Neumbo said.
The selling of python skin is considered a lucrative business in some parts of the country where such skins are used for traditional rituals when combined with herbs.
Some communities also eat pythons and use the snake’s fat for body cream.