Recently Marcel van Driel, the National Coordinator of HHiSS, traveled to South Africa to attend several snake training courses at African Reptiles and Venom (www.africanreptiles-venom.co.za / facebook/AfricanReptilesAndVenom). The courses are given by the best in the business, Mike Perry. Courses attended were: Snake recognition, Snakebite treatment and Venomous snake handling. In addition, he followed the Advanced Black Mamba Handling course.
Necking a Black Mamba during the training
Marcel with Mike Perry of African Reptiles and Venom
After the training courses he worked several days at the ARV snake farm, which is used to extract venom for antivenom production. This work entailed handling dozens of highly venomous snakes, feeding them, administering antibiotics and many other activities.
Both the training courses and the work at the snake farm improved his handing skills and knowledge about snakes, snake behaviour and husbandry as well as snakebite treatment.
Returning a Cobra to its enclosure
Marcel’s increased knowledge and skills will be used for the benefit of both snakes and people in Zambia. Already planned activities are: adding a “First Aid in Snakebites” component to the First Aid training courses by First Aid Africa and children’s sensitisation in schools (activities planned in Livingstone and several schools in Zambia).
The training in South Africa was financed by First Aid Africa (www.firstaidzambia.com / facebook/faazambia), as this organisation saw the clear benefits of this investment in the health of the Zambian population. Helping Hands in Snake Safety is very grateful for this support. The funding also included 10 snake handling sets which will be provided to people whom we plan to train in snake handling and removing under the HHiSS Mfuwe project.