Grassland snakes are among the world’s most dangerous snakes and can cause serious damage to pets and livestock, with more than 80,000 reported cases worldwide, according to a new report.
The report, compiled by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, found that a third of all snake-related deaths worldwide were in Africa and Asia.
The researchers said the most dangerous areas of Africa and East Asia are in countries like Angola, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria and Cameroon.
“The number of cases has risen significantly since 2010 in some regions, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, and there are reports of a significant increase in recent years in areas of the world where the prevalence of snakes is particularly high,” the report says.
“In the most populous countries of sub-Saharan Africa, there has been an increase in cases in areas with high levels of socio-economic inequalities, including Angola, Uganda and South Africa.”‘
A huge problem’The report says more than 70 per cent of cases in African countries have been in countries where there are large concentrations of urbanisation, and that a quarter of the cases occur in urban areas where people live in homes with large windows.
“More than two thirds of the infections in Africa have been associated with a domestic snake and one third have been related to a wild animal,” the authors say.
“Most of these infections occur in people who do not use protective clothing and are not well-trained in snake handling.”
We are seeing a massive problem in this region of the globe,” said Dr Hilda Schoel, director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s snake research and management programme in New York.”
It’s a huge problem and the number of people that have to deal with it is quite a high number.
It’s a real problem.
“The report said more than two-thirds of all cases in Africa had been in areas where there were large concentrations