Big snake in Vessigny
By STACY MOORE Wednesday, October 23 2013
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BIG SNAKE: Darius Baldeo, left, honorary game warden, is assisted by Rennie Loknath, also a game warden as they bag a macajuel snake which was caught ...
The capture of a seven foot macajuel snake in Vesssigny village, La Brea has left residents of the southern community living in fear.
For years snakes have infested the village of the Access Road making their breeding grounds near a forested area and dam, in close proximity to the village.
Residents say they have been forced to use repellants to prevent snakes from entering their homes. However, these preventative measures have failed as residents have reportedly seen and killed snakes inside their houses, and yards. One of the largest snakes was yesterday spotted by mother of three, Ann Baptiste, who, while in the process of cleaning her vehicle was greeted to the sight of a seven foot Boa Constrictor macajuel snake on the steps of her front door.
“It is the biggest I have ever seen. I am speaking here and I am still in shock” said a shaken Baptiste. For the mother it was a nightmare she would never forget.
“No words can describe how I felt at that moment. I froze. You know what it is to see a snake this size coiled up in front your step. I’m telling you the sight of this snake could have given anyone a heart attack.” Baptiste said.
Baptiste who resides with her children and grandchildren including a five-month-old baby boy said the problems of snakes in the area have been ongoing.
“This snake is the largest we have seen, but we have always been dealing with snake problems here. Many times I would look outside and see snakes crawling. The problem is this area has too much bush. The area needs to be cleaned. I am certain that there are more snakes this size, or even bigger” she explained.
Villagers were alerted to Baptiste’s call for help and were able to capture the snake before the arrival of a team of honorary game wardens.
Villagers Nixon Modeste and Kenneth Harris who have been praised by Baptiste for their bravery were able to lure the snake into a barrel within a few minutes.
“I was sweating thinking that this snake could bite me anytime, but I knew if it was not captured it would return. So I kept moving the barrel back and forth until finally I was able to get it inside.” Harris recalled.
Adding he said, “this snake problem has been going on too long. People should not have to live like this, waking up not knowing if you would see a snake in your home” Harris said.
Modeste echoes similar cries . “I have seen small snakes but I have never seen one this size here. And the thing is we have complained to the corporation many times. And nothing has been done,” Modeste said.
In addition residents are also faced with a rat infestation problem in the area which they complained have fallen on deaf ears. “So when is not snakes, is rats. “And this is what we have to live with here.
“And not just adults, there are children living here too,” said another resident.
Police officers at the La Brea Police Station contacted officials of the Forestry Division upon discovery of the black and brown snake.
Honorary game wardens Darius Baldeo and Rennie Loknath who responded were able to remove the reptile from the barrel into a cloth bag which they secured.
Speaking with Newsday Baldeo said the Boa Constrictor snake which weighed close to 20 pounds was non-venomous and usually inhabits forested areas. Baldeo said if the snake were to bite a human they would require minimal first-aid treatment as this type of snake mostly constricts its prey. The snake he said would bite for two reasons — defence and feeding response. “Snakes recognise humans as predators and hiss to send warning signals to be aware. And may bite as a defence.”
A check revealed that the snake was an adult female.
Newsday contacted member of parliament for the La Brea area Fitzgerald Jeffery who said he was not aware of reports made of a snake and rat infestation problem along the Access Road along as he had not received any complaints. Jeffery admitted that the area near the village was forested, but said Vessigny was a generally forested area. He said that he would also write the Siparia Regional Corporation to have the area cleared and cleaned.