In mid-June 2023, a shocking video surfaced of the illegal confinement and abuse of a Southern African Python in a village near Taung in the North West. The video showed a young man using force in an attempt to pressure the snake to drink from a plastic container. The snake appeared unnaturally sluggish.

Luckily, the NSPCA was made aware of the video, which had been circulated on social media. The Special Projects Unit immediately sprung into action, conducting a quick investigation to determine the location at which the video was filmed. Once the home of the perpetrator was identified, National Senior Inspector Kgakgamatso Moseki was deployed to investigate the matter, along with the SAPS Stock Theft Unit, and an officer from the North West Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment.

On arrival at the identified location, National Senior Inspector Moseki was met with the sight of a subdued Southern African Python being kept in deplorable conditions. This beautiful and majestic snake had been bundled up into a sack, which was tightly tied to prevent his escape. Without the ability to move, and no access to food or water, the snake had evidently been suffering for numerous days. With the help of the SAPS, National Senior Inspector Moseki was able to remove the snake to a place of safety.

Southern African Pythons are a species of snake indigenous to South Africa. They are classified as vulnerable as per the South African Red Data Book and are a protected species. As such, it is illegal to capture or kill Southern African Pythons under the National Environmental Management Act: Biodiversity (NEMBA) 10 of 2004. It is also illegal to keep them without a permit.

The success of this case highlights the importance of public awareness and action. Without vigilant supporters, this video may have not reached the NSPCA. We urge members of the public to keep an eye out for acts of abuse and to notify the NSPCA immediately.

Well done to National Senior Inspector Moseki on her perseverance and determination in getting the perpetrator arrested and persecuted for the crime. Thank you to the SAPS Stock Theft Unit for their assistance in making the arrest and persecution of this individual possible.

The NSPCA stands firm in its commitment to seeking justice for all animals and will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that all those responsible for animal cruelty are brought to account.

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