Farmers in Supingstad near Zeerust in the North West have an unexpected predator to keep at bay, the Southern Rock python.
A sight that would send many running for the hills. Farmers in Supingstad are used to leopards hunting their livestock. But it’s the first time they’ve come across a Southern Rock Python killing one of their animals.
It was first seen wrapped around a small calf.
It took the snake hours to swallow the animal. The next day it was found under a nearby bush with a very full belly.
Although the community says it won’t kill leopards or pythons because they are a protected species, they want compensation for their losses.
The local chief at Supingstad Victor Suping says: “This is the first example of a python which I was not aware could do this damage. Who is going to give me anything? Nobody. So I wanted to alert and plead with government to see to it that not only me but every farmer who comes across this problem be compensated.”
However, python numbers are dwindling in the wild as they are caught for the muti trade.
An Ecologist at North West Parks Wilfred Seitlhamo says: “In other areas outside parks it starts to be vulnerable. Because people are hunting it for its skin and fats and other stuff on it and also along the road it gets trapped by cars.”
Even though the Southern Rock Python will instill fear in many, in Supingstad it will remain protected.
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