Reptiles from Coega site find a safe home.

Posted On Thursday, 20 February 2003 10:01 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Johannesburg Hundreds of reptiles have been moved to safety as work begins on clearing one of the largest of the Coega industrial development zone sites.

Property-Housing-ResidentialThis is a 150ha area prepared in the metallurgical cluster for a proposed aluminium smelter using technology from French firm Aluminium Pechiney.

The Coega Development Corporation has employed the services of Bayworld and a local environmental company to find new homes for the animals and plants found in the area.

'A 10-strong team have been on site from sunrise each day for the past three weeks,' said Linda Redfern of Landscape and Environmental Services.

'Already, we have moved nearly 100 tortoises, about 50 lizards and more than 46 000 plants.

'Bayworld herpetologist Bill Branch has been instrumental in showing us how to handle reptiles and spiders, and how to find homes for them.'

Together with Branch, the team has relocated a number of harmless snakes such as skaapstekers and the beautiful harlequin snake, as well as geckoes, big chameleons and the unusually large and fast sun spider.

'We have yet to find the elusive and rare Albany adder, but a rare lizard, which was far south of its natural habitat, has been captured,' said Redfern.

'Puffadders, boomslangs and cobras are too dangerous for us to move. Most of them will get out of the way anyway when they sense encroachment.'

However, one female puffadder was caught by Branch because it was about to give birth.

Bayworld has designed a meticulous programme and intensive rescue operation one site at a time to ensure the safety of the wildlife that cannot be captured at the site, such as buck, kestrels, doves and other birds.

'There is a clear route of escape for the animals.'

The herpetologist is also providing training to the bush clearers and bulldozer operators. 'Caring for the environment is evident among the bulldozer operators,' said Redfern.

Last modified on Thursday, 26 June 2014 16:53

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