Boiga pulverulenta, orange tree snake

I love having a bicycle.  At least between rainstorms, I can pedal my way just about anywhere.  The “Terminal” offices where Lisa works are approximately four kilometres away and a bicycle trail follows several production roads from Yenzi to the Terminal.  The production roads are used by Shell to access pipelines and well-heads throughout the oil concession.  These crushed laterite roads pass through forests and along savannahs, generally seeing little traffic.

Its Tuesday and I am bicycling to the Terminal. Shortly after leaving our house, I pass under a mango tree.  The tree is alive with the Yenzi version of “angry birds”.  I had heard a similar commotion late last week from the same tree.  By now I suspect a predator is lurking somewhere among the branches and I stop to investigate.  I am craning my neck and attract the attention of several Yenzi residents, who concur that, yes, there is a snake there, and after searching among the branches, discover an orange tree snake, boiga pulverulenta, coiled among the branches.  Someone calls snake patrol, and with the aid of a long bamboo pole, the snake is dislodged.  This four-foot long tree snake is a beautiful copper-brown color with green-brown rosettes highlighted in white.  Very slender and as I learned later, non-venomous and non-aggressive.  Yenzi policy is to remove all snakes from camp, dispatching the dangerous cobras and mambas, but releasing the less dangerous others some distance from camp.

Dominique corrals a snake beneath a mango tree

Unfortunately for this snake, amid all the excitement, it ended up dead, killed by a blow from a panga.  I will have to be more careful about what I call attention to in the future.

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