Some time ago I posted a blog on Missionary stress related to living in the same environment with snakes. On the African Horn its the green or black mamba that is terrifying. However the python can also cause havoc and ensure that the heart is beating fast and the adrenalin glands are kicking into overdrive when confronted.
Here’s a true field incident where missionaries had to face down the feared python. This was shared by Brenda Lange, missionary in Mozambique, where she ministers to orphans and plants churches . . . and tries to protect livestock from pythons! Stress . . . FULL!
BIG BAD PYTHON RAIDS THE GOAT NURSERY
At 1:30am Saturday, my colleague received a call saying a large python (7ft. or 2.2. meters) had broken into the goal corral and squeezed to death the best baby goat twins in the nursery. There are three night guards in the corral each night, and they immediately spotted the snake when the goats sounded the alarm.
Sadly, the babies were already wrapped in its death squeeze in the few seconds it took them to grab their bamboos and get inside the pen.
The snake made a hasty escape, taking the men on a 45-minute “flashlight chase” before they could kill it. They tell me it was quite a scary fight in the dark against such a large snake with vicious teeth. Pythons are not venomous, but they are quick and very agile, packing a bite that can rip tissue and leave a deep wound with a severe infection.
In prevention, we are sealing the area under the two gates with concrete bricks, since that is how it entered the corral. The snake’s tracks showed it tried to get though the tightly woven bamboo fence in several places, but couldn’t. However, the space under each gate gets worn away by the many hoofs tracking through that small area, thus making an easy entry way for snakes and small animals. It upsets me greatly that these two little ones lost their life because none of us ever thought to block this off.
The saying goes: “Africa shows no mercy.” When attacked by a snake or wild animal, rarely does anyone get a second chance at life.”