The Cape Exotic Animal hospital in Durbanville specialises in care for all exotic pets and wildlife. They’ve been visited by slithery and scaly patients recently, and not for your usual reptilian check-up. The vet says many snakes have popped in and the problem seems to be loadshedding.
Snakes and reptilians love their warmth – whether it comes from the sun or a lightbulb. In an enclosure, their air temperatures need to be kept around 27 – 29 °C, and their basking space at 33 °C.
Winters in Cape Town don’t offer those temperatures and snake owners have to compensate through heating pads, light bulbs and other enclosure heating tools. However, when Eskom keeps flicking switches up and down, their vivarium temperatures are lost and as a result, snakes are getting sick.
The temperature loss affects their respiratory system and their tummy, resulting in digestive issues and constipation. Crawly the ball python recently visited the vet after he developed a snotty nose and bubbles from his mouth. He’s just one of the victims to come in after being affected by the national issue that is loadshedding.
“We highly recommend all reptile owners to have a system set up that will allow their reptiles to continue getting heat during loadshedding hours”, says the veterinarians at the hospital.
As we continue to bare the effects of loadshedding and live through these dark times, it’s important to take care of our pets. Reptile owners should find some extra ways to keep their reptiles warm, especially for those extra cold nights in Cape Town.