Video: 4-foot venomous snake slithers out of family’s Christmas tree

Boomslang is one of the most venomous snakes in Africa

ROBERTSON, South Africa – One of the most venomous snakes in Africa just wanted to celebrate the season with one unsuspecting family over the weekend.

A family in the Western Cape of South Africa said their pet cats made the discovery.

Rob and Marcela Wild told CNN they went to see what the cats were looking at and discovered a boomslang snake.

“I didn’t know what it was at the time but then I Googled what snakes are in our area and it came up immediately as a boomslang. I thought ‘holy Moses, this is the king of all poisonous snakes,’” Wild told CNN.

While the snake’s venom can be fatal to humans, even in small amounts, it’s considered to be a shy species and they tend to leave people alone unless threatened.

“They (snakes) are very reluctant to bite but have just been demonized so much,” said Gerrie Heyns.

Heyns is a snake catcher who helped remove the reptile from the Christmas tree.

“Once I had it under control the family came right up to see the snake. It didn’t try to bite or be defensive because I gave it no reason to. A scary moment turned into an exciting moment for the children,” Heyns told CNN.

He confirmed the snake was a female between 4.3 and 4.9 feet long and said he released the boomslang back into the wild on Sunday.

Heyns also told CNN in his eight years of removing snakes, he has only been bitten once and it was because he didn’t realize the reptile had been shot, which caused it to act defensively.

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.