Scared of snakes? Here’s the way to handle it


Nick Evans often finds himself in tight spots. Sometimes he’s climbing into hot, stuffy ceilings. Or balancing on a roof in the middle of the night. That’s because Evans is the one to call when a snake slithers into someone’s home and overstays its welcome. He relishes these adrenaline-pumping adventures of snake removal. But Evans also uses these situations to show reptiles in a different light.

Any snake can seem dangerous if people can’t differentiate between the types. But many of the scaly creatures pose no harm to humans – as long as we don’t interfere with them. Committing his time to rescuing animals, as well as educating his community, Evans founded KwaZulu-Natal Amphibian and Reptile Conservation in 2015. Part of what he teaches is that snakes are crucial to the food chain, as they regulate the populations of other species. “If you want a healthy, functioning environment, we do need reptiles and amphibians,” Evans says. That’s why he always steps in to protect them. When encountering a snake, people usually run away or kill it. Evans believes in a different response. Appreciate the sighting, have the snake safely removed, and allow it to play its part in the ecosystem.

“Most people fear snakes because they don’t understand them,” Evans says. He shows people their importance by running educational talks with others, especially children. The youth can share that knowledge with friends and family, and grow up to treat the creatures with compassion. “I just want people to have a healthy respect for them,” Evans says. Whether we like snakes or not, we need the scaly animals. Evans shows us how to handle them, and our fears.