Cape Cobra in my Studio

Cape Cobra in my Studio

Believe it or not, this morning I was visited by a Cape Cobra in my Studio! I was working on my computer when I heard a strange noise. I knew I was alone, so what could that be? It sort of sounded like a tortoise… but in my studio? Hmmm… I didn’t see anything and turned back to the screen, when – from the corner of my eye – I saw a large snake moving towards my feet… as it’s summer I was wearing simple sandals. I still am now at almost midnight.

Cape Cobra in my Studio in Noordhoek, South Africa

I pulled my feet back – and this brisk movement made her turn extremely fast and then I heard it again, that strange noise…. and there she was, curling up in a wastepaper box where I had just dumped the packaging of my new headset.

She was looking straight at me… as you see on the not too optimal photos… but given the fact that these snakes are extremely fast when they strike or spit and their venom is fatal if not treated in time – I was on the guard and perhaps a bit shaking LOL. There was hardly any distance between us – so I had to respect her space. There was definitely some kind of communication going on between us, however, I prefered her in the garden… thinking also of my cat.

I put on rubber boots to protect at least my lower end, took a broom and gently enticed her to get out of my space and back into the garden. She was not aggressive at all… but determined to stay… and instead of moving out of the door, she passed it and disappeared rapidly under a coach…

From here a whole odyssey started to get her out… especially as she was very difficult to spot and when approached with a stick she would attack it and hit it hard blowing her typical head into shape – and come closer! So the solution was to enclose her with all sort of pieces of wood, boards, even matresses piled vertically – as they climb very easily – brief: to leave only one way of escape: the door to the garden.

But she wouldn’t go! Meanwhile she had disappeared through the finest of space into a a large cupboard with many partitions and many, many places to hide!!! Duhhh! She was winning all the way – getting her shade and a cool spot out of the heat plus a friendly service as I put a big bowl of water on the floor – sort of a drink on her way out.

Cape Cobra in my Studio

The Cape Cobra liked my Studio and was determined to stay!

I had to think fast – and most vulnerable in these cases are kids and pets. So I caught my cat and put him into another room – boy, he was not happy!

I spoke to some friends and got all sorts of advice and warnings. Cape Cobras are amongst the most dangerous snakes in Africa. Their venom is fatal if not treated in time. I know, I grew up with snakes in Namibia – happy black mamba and horn viber country. Getting a snake catcher means the snake would very probably be put into the “Snake Park” – what a sad fate. In the worst case scenario, the hospital would be 15 minutes away and I would have 1 hour max… just in case; that one hour would be no fun though… And then they want the snake to be brought along for exact identification – one’s gotta have humour here:)

Well, I always respected the snakes in my garden – their space. I just wanted her out of my Studio! No need for that kind of venom cocktail! The news about “my cobra” made the round…. which has its good side too in a country haunted by criminality: noone visits a place with snakes, not even from far LOL!

And then it’s mating season… these snakes look for a partner everywhere, even on my foot … and the idea of possibly having two of them in my studio didn’t appeal to me too much either… and it still doesn’t to be honest as I never found number two!

Well, I had to get into action and, as you see on the video snippets, she had really found the coolest place and while I had seen her in a split second in one place and had to quickly close off before she’d shoot out… a second later she was simply gone. And who would think this large creature could curl up into something that small… and this under an innocent cushion?

Well… with some determined action on my side she started moving in the right direction – but despite everything perfectly sealed off… she managed to dive underneath a heavy mattress and almost got out … but finally she left my place and shot under some dark green deck chair covers that I had thrown out, one after the other, checking all the items that were “without snake”! You see how she sticks her head out, looking straight at me. Quietly, almost cold… and not even the split tongue…

And again, a very fast and totally unexpected reaction: instead of moving into the garden – green, lush and shady – she shot into the opposite direction where we have a building site… hot and rough for slick snake bellies! But incredible how she snakes and sometimes almost flies along… an amazing creature. Here at least I got some impressive shots… yes, she seemed so small from the top … but look at her now!

And then she simply disappeared into nothingness.

Where the heck had she gone???

It took some time to find her having slipped into a cavity in the lower wall of the house. It seems she needs to stay close… well, just not inside my studio please!

Too strange the mongoose didn’t get this one… as he comes for visits too – which is not liked by my cat … and that means war!

Here you go: today’s adventure: a Cape Cobra in my Studio!

I am glad to hear the peaceful hooting of the owls – midnight passed… time for some rest!





  9 comments for “Cape Cobra in my Studio

  1. November 29, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Amazing !!! That’s a beautifull snake and a really unexpected meeting lol !

    Good to know the Cape Cobra finally went back to its home and not in a cage ! Well done :))

    • November 29, 2011 at 12:09 pm

      YESS!!! It didn’t show up for breakfast this morning, but I guess it liked all the little water catchment areas we have prepared for thirsty creatures!

      • November 29, 2011 at 4:43 pm

        CHEEEEEEERS !!!

        Then it should have enough to eat too :)

        And as you say “it’s mating season”… maybe you will have a full family one day ! Not in your studio I hope ;-)

        • November 30, 2011 at 12:34 pm

          Don’t even THINK that :)))

      • December 1, 2011 at 11:02 am

        Bien m’dame ;-)

  2. Inge Koch
    November 29, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    ‘Oh, for a beaker full of the warm south!’ Or a snake! That’s inside Africa. It takes me longer to get rid of the two-legged ‘snakes’ sneaking up to my doorstep, daily, merciless in their theft of my time and tolerance, and their insidious venom, which doesn’t kill but contaminates. That’s inside German cities.
    Thanks for sharing this adventure with me and pray: take good care. We need you around.
    Love, Inge

    • November 30, 2011 at 12:40 pm

      LOL… we all get our share of those sorta creepie-crawlies… the good thing being: not in a ‘place of snakes’… I just ramified my reputation :))) Ist der Ruf mal ruiniert… usw!!!!
      How was Tachkent?

      Big warm hug from the South!

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