A Mahikeng man was arrested after he was found in possession of an endangered Southern African python that was being kept illegally in a shack in cruel conditions in a village on the outskirts of Mahikeng.
The NSPCA’s Special Projects Unit and Wildlife Protection Unit confiscated the reptile, after the NSPCA and the North West Nature Conservation received a complaint about the endangered Southern African python on June 28.
They launched an investigation and a national inspector was deployed and they obtained a warrant to inspect the property where the python was allegedly being kept.
The inspectors found the python concealed and confined in a polypropylene bag inside a filthy shack amongst the skin and bones of other pythons.
NSPCA national inspector, Kgakgamatso Moseki said the suspect was arrested for illegal possession of an endangered species and was also charged with contravening the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962 and the Environmental Management Biodiversity Act 10 of 2004.
“The python has since been taken to a veterinarian for an examination and will thereafter be sent to an NSPCA accredited rehabilitation centre,” Moseki said.
Moseki said the suspect appeared before the Molopo Magistrate’s Court in Mahikeng on June 30 where the he was granted bail, and the matter was postponed to July 16 for further investigation.
Moseki added that the Southern African python is a protected species in terms of the national environmental and biodiversity act and should not be kept illegally.
Moseki also said that NSPCA has seen an escalation concerning people keeping these snakes, often utilised and subsequently mistreated in traditional healing and illegal trade.
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