Forestry Department says more snakes could appear in populated areas


Citing a rapid increase in the local boa constrictor population, the Forestry Department said more creatures could appear in populated areas.

On Wednesday, the department was ordered to remove a six-foot-long boa from the property of Water and Sewerage Company Inc (WASCO) in Union.

Acting forestry director Alfred Prospere explained that the boa and spearhead can travel long distances via water, especially during periods of heavy rains when rivers swell.

“Any of these reptiles can hang on to a piece of wood – they would come down the river and land,” Prospere told S.t Lucia Times.

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Prospere explained that the boa constrictor population here has grown rapidly because it is on the list of protected species and it is illegal to kill the reptile.

But he said the spearhead, which is poisonous, is not.

The forestry official said that due to the increase in the boa population, competition for food grows and the creatures move to other areas, leading to an increase in sightings.

“The problem we have in Saint Lucia is that people find it difficult to tell the difference between the boa constrictor and the spearhead,” he said.

The head of the Forestry Department said that the spearhead is a very different reptile from the boa.

He said the boa would stay in a residential area undisturbed by the presence of people and noise, once it continued to procure food.

Nonetheless, he explained that if the boa is stopped and threatened, it will move.

But Prospere said the spearhead, on the other hand, would move away from an area where there is human activity or noise.

“What I would like the audience to do is if there is a sighting of a reptile, be it a boa or a spearhead, just stay away, identify the location and don’t bother him – because if you bother him he may move to another area, which would make it difficult for us to see him when we get there.

Prospere said snake sightings should be reported to the Forestry Department.

He described the boa as a “friendly snake”.

“He’s a friendly snake because he would never attack you. So you can sit next to a boa and the boa won’t do anything to you – unlike a spearhead; once you disturb it or you get very close to it, it will defend itself by hitting you. The boa is the opposite, it will not attack you in any way unless you try to disturb it. It can hit you in an attempt to defend itself, “said the interim chief forest officer. Saint Lucia weather.

“It has no venom but it has very sharp teeth,” said Prospere, adding that a boa bite on any part of the body like the finger, can result in a series of cuts, if the victim tries to remove the hand. .

On the other hand, he said that the bite of the spearhead is poisonous and can kill.

Prospere explained that the spearhead and the boa constrictor are almost similar.

“What makes them different is the head. For example, the head of the spearhead is more rectangular than the head of the boa constrictor. The head of the boa constrictor is shaped like a mongrel dog’s head and has what looks like a skin with a wide variety of colors compared to the spearhead which looks more like a body with scales that can be removed ”, did he declare.

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