Monday, December 10, 2007

Python in Abuja


Freshly killed this morning. There was a green mamba found in a plane tree outside our house a few months ago. When we lived in VGC a few years ago, they found a cobra in the compound.

There's a history of the python's relationship to various Nigerian cultures yet to be written: the Igbos that are forbidden to eat it, the Yorubas who used them to protect themselves from invaders etc. as well as the myriad proverbs about the snake..

26 comments:

mochafella 5:14 p.m.  

What Python...? I only see some shoes and a matching handbag for madam.

Anonymous,  7:01 p.m.  

why was it killed? should have let it be, especially a non poisonous snake like a python.

Anengiyefa 9:32 p.m.  

LOL, Anonymous please dont make me laugh, hehe

In Nigeria, all snakes are always killed. Nobody waits to ask whether the snake is poisonous or not. If they did that, the snake might get away...

wienna,  10:14 p.m.  

@anon...who told u python isn't poisonous? I agree dat it shouldn't have been killed but in a country like naija, who cares about snakes and creepy-crawlies. Even dogs to a lot of naijas still seem like an enemy.

Waffarian 10:16 p.m.  

Na winsh people. Dem send am.

Positive girl 11:33 p.m.  

nice wallet...fresh!!!

anonymaus,  11:35 p.m.  

If the whole world behaved like Nigerians, all animal species would have been wiped out long ago. Why can't someone identify a niche market amongst the well healed, and capture the animal and take it to a remote place and release it, must everything result in instant death or be destined for the cooking pot as "bush meat"?

Anengiyefa 12:47 a.m.  

"..must everything result in instant death or be destined for the cooking pot as "bush meat"?"

Ha ha, Anonymaus, unfortunately for the animals in Nigeria, the answer to your question is YES!

Anonymous,  2:47 a.m.  

pythons aren't poisonous, it's easy to verify. i owned several at one point. Nigeria has a lot of beautiful snakes and needs to stop killing these things (snakes and other bushmeat) willy nilly.

Anonymous,  2:58 a.m.  

Hush yo mouth anonymaus! Stoptrying to sound so superior! the ONLY people that probably wouldnt instinctly kill a snake without consulting the animal version of Grays Anatomy are dear departed Steve Irwin, and perhaps our whitest western european brethren and a few (very) pc americans (animals have rights too)Abeg jo- quit pissing on Nigerians all the time. You woulda done the same thing! btw...in china, this woulda been some real good pepper soup, and in hill billycountry...yeehaw

babatunde 10:25 a.m.  

Bush meat, brothers and sisters, there is nothing like bush meat, just thinking about it makes my mouth water.

For those of you (Anonymaus) who wonder why if it moves we eat it, well go for a walk in the European countryside and count how many eatable animals you see, what none, that's because they've eaten them all.

Reminds me of many moons ago when I took my nieces to London zoo, they were raising money to stop the eating of Bushmeat and I asked the young lady what she expected poor Africans to eat for protein, and she started on the, but tourism brings in more money rubbish, so I tried explaining to her that Africa is a vast place, that tourism can only be sustained if the infrastructure to support it is in place and even then it can only support a small part of each country, then I gave up and started telling her how tasty bushmeat is..... at which point I got dragged away.

By the way Python is nice, when cooked looks like fish, tastes kind of like rabbit

Anonymous,  2:27 p.m.  

in fact, Babatunde, I like you! when y'alls gots time, check out the recipes on Mr. Upper -Crust La di da Brit Extaordinaire (complete with hyphenated name,) Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage...

Anengiyefa 2:39 p.m.  

Yes Babatunde, but I'm not sure that this particular python was destined for the pot. It's more likely to have been the victim of the mass hysteria that erupts whenever any snake is sighted by Nigerians...

Anengiyefa 3:06 p.m.  

In my ancestral homeland, Nembe in Bayelsa State, the python is revered. I'm told that killing it is forbidden, and that a Nembe person is not even supposed to witness any form of harm being inflicted on the snake. It is said that if a python enters the village and takes an animal, say a dog or a goat, it is flogged and then dragged to the forest and released. This is what I heard, but I am no expert, so please don't take my word for it.

anonymaus,  3:46 p.m.  

1) Anengiyefa these are your words ..." I would agree though that we have participated in the almost total annihilation of the country's natural fauna."...

Yet with the following statement,

"Ha ha, Anonymaus, unfortunately for the animals in Nigeria, the answer to your question is YES!"

I'm now puzzled as to your stand on the issue. Do you believe in the anhilation of everything living thing that falls into the boundaries of Nigeria. Then you complain that tourists stay away! The environment is a key draw card for Africa, and if that is turned into one big rubbish tip, then the people only have themselves to blame.

Do you not believe in the preservation of natural flora and fauna in a planned and organised way for future generations?

2) Anonymous, what has souding superior got to do with anything? The point I'm making is that there is no need to instantly destroy a creature , because you have a knee-jerk reaction to its existence. If the animal posed no immediate danger, why the over-reaction? If it is endangering you, by all means remove the threat.

3) Babatunde - Because some people have devoured all their natural species, does that make it right? In parts of Europe they are even lamenting the disappearance of some species and are trying (where possible) to reintroduce them or preserve the few that remain. Is one not allowed to look, discern and ultimately decide if it's right for you before going down the same path?

Anengiyefa 7:51 p.m.  

Unlike you, Mr Anonymaus, I am not wont to postulating, and I do not seek to force my views down other people's throats. As Anonymous correctly said, you come accross as if you're trying to speak from a position of superiority. If youre a Nigerian at all, which I have cause to doubt, I wonder what your armchair crtiicism of everything Nigerian is intended to achieve.

I do not make judgments. The animals in Nigeria have been decimated, and human activity is largely responsible. There is nothing in the comments that I have made so far to indicate that I have even a smidgen of support for the killing of the animals. I was only stating the facts, as they are.

Before I go, I must point out that Jeremy's post was about a python that was killed, and not about the environment, or tourists.

Idemili 10:32 p.m.  

Correction onye ocha, Igbos are not allowed to kill pythons, and that's mostly villages under Idemmili's divine jurisdiction. The python was her avatar, you see.

The whole subject of eating pythons is therefore out of the question. Snakes were not and are not considered food in the Igbo culture.

Sandrine 5:28 p.m.  

Here is my python story.I used to live in an art deco building, nice architecture,poor insulation.A couple of my neighbors who also had a baby (what were they thinking?) had a huge pet python.One day,the python decided to explore new territories and it got loose.It showed up in the kitchen of another neighbor when she was cooking.Thank goodness she was young and with a solid heart.She still freaked out and called 911.By the time the firefighters came,the python was loose again and it was a commotion for several days.The python did not end up in a pot but had a glorious fight to death with a cat inside the wall of another neighbor who had to call animal control to remove the mess.
Two thoughts:
It' nice to speak about sparing the life of a snake that size, it's another to actually meet one.
About the subject of fauna protection, I am all for it, however when it comes to survival of animals versus people, I don't believe there is a choice.Unless there is an alternative,who can blame anybody for wanting to eat.Anonymaus,principles become more flexible when you start having children.

anonymaus,  11:09 p.m.  

Anengiyefa
1) It seems as if I've offended you, if I have (which was not the intention) then I apologise - that was not the intention.
2) I've no intention to force my views down anyone's throat whatsoever - that is as far removed from my personality.
3) I'm not speaking from any position of superiority, whatsoever. It's an alternative view, just like everyone else's.
4) I've not criticised everything Nigerian, there are posts where I've praised and remarked on good things in Nigeria (no need to list them here).
5) Anengiyefa, you have a point about the reference to tourism in this post, I thought I'd throw that in as it was not far removed.
6) My parentage is Nigerian.
7) Sandrine, thank you for your account, your message has been taken on-board, it approached the whole issue from another angle.

Talatu-Carmen 3:10 a.m.  

babatunde,

Lol, on the zoo trip. I'm laughing my head off.

Anonymous,  1:45 p.m.  

sandrine, your two points are one and the same: that a snake tht size is dangerous and someone it was a choice between man and animal.

a snake that size cannot kill a man. it's too small. and it certainly cant eat one. besides they generally dont have a taste for human meat but like rodents of various sizes.

people need to be better educated on these animals so they don't feel at snake automatically means danger. these snakes actually make decent pets because they are so docile. a loose snake like the one you describe was likely looking for a dark and warm place because they ant generate heat internally

Anengiyefa 4:11 p.m.  

Yes Anonymous, pythons make decent pets when they're still young or juveniles. But it is extremely hazardous to keep an adult python as a pet, especially when you have young children around.

Most species in the python family are available in the exotic pet trade. However, caution must be exercised with the larger species as they can be dangerous; cases of large specimens killing their owners have been documented.
http://www.anapsid.org/coloburm.html

In the United States, a population of Burmese pythons, has existed as an invasive species in the Everglades National Park since the late 1990s, which has damaged the local ecosystem. More than 300 have been removed. They are not native to the south Floridian marshlands, but have been deposited there by pet owners who no longer wished to care for them and also did not want to euthanize them. Scientists believe that the snakes are a grave threat to nearly every species of animal in the Everglades, including alligators.

Anonymous,  4:04 a.m.  

Has anyone here been bitten by a snake? I have. If you have, even if by a non-poisonous snake, you will not be so theoretical. I believe in if it looks dangerous, kill it and ask questions later. Unless there are local people who know about snakes around where a snake is found, the general idea is to kill it, and not wait for animal control after you have called them.

As for the non bush meat eating people, hush your mouth, I will eat bush meat any day over grain/animal protein fed cows.

The people who are so well fed that they can be so sympathetic and be armchair environmentalists/animal rights activists are the same people who are wealthy enough to encourage the real estate boom in Abuja and other places in Naija, which disturbs the animals' habitat, what have you done to help them? When last if ever did you plant a tree?
A python was killed, so what, circle of life baby, circle of life, we get am plenty for Naija. What accelerates their extinction is climate change, loss of habitat, organised poaching et al, not one lone Mallam clubbing a snake to death.
The next time you see a snake, stand there and rationalize, me, either it will be dead or I would have legged it. Shebi Steve Irwin, Timothy Treadwell and Roy Horn thought they had a handle on animals. All but Roy are dead; Roy will never be the same again.

When we have spent enough money on education,illiteracy,access to medical care, and the bare necesities of life, come back and lets have a discussion on how to spend more money (destined for big man, big mansion pockets) on animal conservation education programs.

Anonymous,  4:42 a.m.  

there are only about 3 or 4 pythons big enough to eat a person. africa has just one of them: the rock python. outside of that the rest are very small. we have the ball python plenty, which is like the lap dog of the snake world. even the wild ones can be picked up with and played with. very docile and popular in countries in benin where they are used for voodoo and harvested for the international market

and I have been bitten by a snake before, and guess what you and I are here typing away. just don't mess with venomous snake and you'll be fine. the rest of the snakes are docile

NAIJA REAL YARD MAN IN LONDON,  9:43 p.m.  

HO MY GOODNESS....YOU SHOULD'NT HAVE KILLED THAT SNAKE,WE COULD HAVE TAKE IT TO BABA LAWO IFE MAYBE HE CAN USE IT TO MAKE SOME AJELE KENGBE SACRIFICE TO MAKE NIGERIA BETTER,ANYWAY MAYBE WE MY STILL FIND ANACONDA SNAKE.......BE WARE

Anonymous,  7:24 p.m.  

animal should nt be killed wrongly cos its inhuman, something must be done to stop thees killing its unfair.the lord said animals are under us not to be killed but well looked after. dogfather

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