Highly venomous snake found hiding inside family's Christmas tree

Now this is definitely a decoration you don’t want to see wrapped around your tree.

There's nothing that brings more joy and happiness in the festive season like a well-lit and decorated Christmas tree. But for this South African family, their tree brought more fear than festivity.

A deadly snake in a tree

The New York Post recently covered a rather terrifying story about a family in South Africa that had an encounter with one of the most venomous snakes in the world.

The mom of the house, Marcela Wild, noticed that her cats were particularly amused by their Christmas tree, as they couldn’t stop staring at it. She reached the conclusion that there could be something hidden inside, like a mouse perhaps. Upon taking a closer look behind the colourful bobbles, she saw two deadly eyes staring right back at her, and it looked nothing like those of a mouse.

Terrified, she decided to do a quick online search to find out who her unexpected house guest was, and the results said that the snake could potentially be a boomslang—one of the deadliest snakes in all of South Africa.

Difficult to catch

She and her husband, Rob, were desperate to get it out of the house, so they sent a picture of the reptile to Gerrie Heyns, a snake catcher. At first, Heyns was in disbelief that there was actually a boomslang in the house, but after a call from Rob, he decided to rush over and take a look himself.

Identifying the snake was the easy part, but catching it turned out to be more challenging than imagined. It had wrapped itself around the branches of the tree and was clinging on for dear life. There was nothing Heyns could do but wait for the creature to come down on its own, and when it did, he captured it with his tongs.

While boomslangs can be very dangerous when provoked, Heyns said that they are ‘peaceful, non-aggressive snakes that like to live alone.’ He added:

So if you see one on a tree, leave it where it is.
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