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Keeping a Natal Green Snake

South African snakes commonly known as non-venomous, including the Natal rock python (Python natalensis).

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Keeping a Natal Green Snake

Postby rhowes » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:51 pm

Hi All,

My son caught a young Natal Green Snake. It was identified by a local pet shop owner and a friend who keeps snakes. From my own searches it seems correct but I will post pictures here for confirmation later.

My son wants to keep the snake as a pet. It is very calm and friendly but also very small, about 20 to 25cm in length.

Is it possible to keep this snake in captivity? We live on a game farm so we can also release it easily enough however my son has the snake in an old fish tank and is very keen to keep it. The main question is around providing food (assuming keeping it is possible) - we have plenty of frogs and geckos however this snake is very small.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Regards
Richard
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Re: Keeping a Natal Green Snake

Postby Wallas » Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:53 pm

No not all,

To keep a South African snake, one must apply for a permit.

That's untrue, it's perfectly legal in Kwa Zulu Natal To Keep Wild Snakes although it's not encouraged or 'ethical"

To better one changes, one needs to be a member of a snake club and did a snake course, then when a club member snake lay eggs or have babies, you may apply for a permit for one of them.

Again this does not apply in KZN.

So it will be best to place the snake back into the wild were you caught it.

PS. Snakes over all do not do well in fish tanks.

Once again that information is subjective and not at all very true. Numerous species do very very well in "fish tanks"


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Re: Keeping a Natal Green Snake

Postby rhowes » Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:05 pm

Thanks for the advice. I assume when you say 'South African snake' it implies the same rules do not apply to exotics since you can buy them in pet shops?

Our kids catch a lot of local wildlife, mainly frogs, snakes and scorpions but also insects and spiders. Our general rule is to allow them to keep whatever they catch in the aquarium for a couple of days and then release it. Good learning.

Where we live we are constantly catching snakes, the most common being Mozambican spitting cobras. Venomous ones we take to the far end of the farm and release immediately.

Regards
Richard
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Re: Keeping a Natal Green Snake

Postby Wallas » Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:08 pm

Yes exotics is a different matter, but their is talks going on that they want to would like to stop exotics in South Africa.
But some people is fighting to keep it alive.
Last edited by Wallas on Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Keeping a Natal Green Snake

Postby Mitton » Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:08 pm

Where do you live Richard?
www.moreliapythons.co.za
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Re: Keeping a Natal Green Snake

Postby wadekilian » Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:11 pm

If you're from KZN, you can keep it without any permits. In any other province it would be illegal to keep.

You can try feeding it gecko tails if you can't find any smaller geckos. I know of people that have converted Philothamnus species onto mice so it is possible to keep them. How healthy it is for them and how long it took is another issue on its own.
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Re: Keeping a Natal Green Snake

Postby rhowes » Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:28 pm

We are on a game farm in KZN, near Richards Bay.

My son is very keen on snakes and wants to keep every one we catch. I was doing some research after Walles mentioned permits and also came to the conclusion that a permit was not necessary here. As much as my son wants to keep this one, we take conservation seriously, and the health and welfare of the animals come first. We have PLENTY of geckos so I'll give the idea a try, and if it works maybe keep the little fellow for a while and then release.

Living on a game farm we catch several snakes a year, and most we just relocate on the farm immediately because we either (a) cannot identify it, or (b) can identify it as poisonous. I am no expert so have to be very careful when catching them, but living where we do its not an option to get an expert out.

Thanks for the input and advice.

Richard
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Re: Keeping a Natal Green Snake

Postby rhowes » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:31 am

Any more ideas on feeding the snake? We would like to keep it for a while before releasing IF feeding it is viable.

Thank you
Regards

Richard
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Re: Keeping a Natal Green Snake

Postby Chippy » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:11 am

Good Day
sorry i have no input regarding the above matter, i would actually like to know what the process is for obtaining a license to keep or sell reptiles, snakes etc.
Please assist
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Re: Keeping a Natal Green Snake

Postby rhowes » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:52 am

Chippy wrote:Good Day
sorry i have no input regarding the above matter, i would actually like to know what the process is for obtaining a license to keep or sell reptiles, snakes etc.
Please assist


I am sure one of the experts can help, but what I have already learnt is that it depends on the province you live in, so you will need to provide that information as a minimum. By Googling I managed to get some information on the process from a few of our provinces.

Cheers
Richard
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Re: Keeping a Natal Green Snake

Postby Chopper 1 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:20 pm

Wallas wrote:No not all,

To keep a South African snake, one must apply for a permit.

To better one changes, one needs to be a member of a snake club and did a snake course, then when a club member snake lay eggs or have babies, you may apply for a permit for one of them.

So it will be best to place the snake back into the wild were you caught it.

PS. Snakes over all do not do well in fish tanks.


Disagree - you do not need permits for most snake species if living in KZN! And do not have to do any of the above.

Richard if he wants to keep the snake then let him - it is great to see youngsters interested in snakes!! They feed on small frogs (not toads), tadpoles and possibly fish (only some of them).

Regards
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Re: Keeping a Natal Green Snake

Postby Jamster » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:32 am

Hi there Richard,

Natals greens are very cool snakes but in captivity they need either natural sunlight which is difficult to do through glass as it has a microwave effect. An alternative is a nice UVB bulb, the most affordable is the little bayonet one.

They feed nicely on small frogs and small tropical house and day geckos.

Good luck:)
1.0-reticulated python (Ripcord)
1.1-burmese pythons
5.5-brown house snakes
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Re: Keeping a Natal Green Snake

Postby Bushviper » Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:01 pm

Nope as long as you can get a permit from your local authority there will not be a problem.
It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.

Those who are afraid to ask are ashamed of learning.
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Re: Keeping a Natal Green Snake

Postby Durban Keeper » Sun Apr 26, 2015 3:58 pm

Been meaning to post on the subject for some time now. Who knows, maybe it will be of use to someone one day :)

So I have been keeping Philothamnus in captivity for a few years years now... This is how I do it.

At the moment I have too Eastern Natal Greens & a single Spotted Bush Snake.
I use two Exo-terra flexariums, one for the purpose of keeping and the other for the purpose of hunting/feeding. I rotate the snakes so that at any given time the one will be left in peace to hunt, feed & digest it's meal. Enclosures are kept outside & receive early morning as well as late afternoon sun.

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Their prey consists almost exclusively of tropical house geckos which they hunt & catch with much excitement & speed.
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The cages are equip with branches for perching and plastic Exo-terra plants to provide shade & a sense of security.
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The result is happy & beautiful snakes, easy to care for, if you do it right...
Image

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