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Buccament Boa killed

Buccament Boa killed

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The snake which was reported to have been found in the forested area, along the road leading to the Buccament Bay resort, is a local Congo snake (Corallus cookii).{{more}}

Senior Forestry Officer Fitzgerald Providence told Searchlight on Sunday, that this endemic reptile, also known as the Treeboa, is not poisonous, but it is a constrictor type snake which strangles its prey.

None of the snakes endemic to St. Vincent and the Grenadines are poisonous, Providence said.

Rumours had been circulating here last week that an anaconda or boa constrictor, brought into the country in imported white sand, had been found at Buccament.

Providence told SEARCHLIGHT that the sighting of the snake was not reported to the Ministry of Agriculture until late last week, but from examination the snake, the experts have concluded that the snake is a local Congo snake.

Providence said the the snake, which was killed, was about 4 to 5 feet in length. Local Congo snakes, Providence said can grow to a maximum of about 10 feet.

The Congo snake is active at night and rarely seen during the day.

Documentation provided by Providence to SEARCHLIGHT indicates that the local Congo snake can be identified by the hourglass-shaped pattern on the skin.

The diet of small Congo snakes consists almost exclusively of anoles, with larger snakes shifting to rodents. These snakes live mainly in lowlands, up to elevations of about 450 metres.

According to “An Annotated Checklist of the Amphibians and Reptiles of St. Vincent, West Indies” by Michael L. Treglia, “Treeboas appear to have adjusted remarkably well to many human-mediated habitat alterations, and are very common in suburban gardens. One essential habitat feature is that tree canopies be contiguous.”

Providence said the white sand imported for use on the beach at Buccament comes from Barbuda, not Guyana. He said the beach sand is different to the processed construction sand which comes from the interior of Guyana. The agency responsible for checking sand imported to the country is the Plant Protection Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Providence said the Forestry Department intends to conduct night patrols in the Buccament area as the snake is nocturnal. He said the snake might have been attracted to the area by food.

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