Bothrox Atrops, commonly called “labaria,” is a pit viper species reputed to be one of the world’s most feared, venomous, and deadly snakes. Imagine the horror of waking up to find one of these monsters at your front door! And what’s worse, it has already killed your pet and is now poised to attack you.
Here is the story of a young Guyanese man of Corriverton Village, Berbice, Region 6, who had to fight one of these deadly creatures face to face. The battle wasn’t an easy one, and at every moment, Mr. Stan Lee Singh risked getting bitten by this horrific serpent.
Mr. Singh has shared his story in an effort to raise awareness of this venomous creature and advise people to be on the alert. If one shows up, there are likely others nearby, and the relevant authorities, as well as the general population, should work together to keep residential areas a snake-free zone.
A Labaria Showed Up at My Front Door
It was around 06:15 h on a normal, sunny, Friday morning. I woke up to my wife’s terrified voice, alerting me that there is a big snake under the table.
First thing that came to my mind was that it’s maybe a small anaconda and there’s nothing to worry about. However, when I stepped out and looked at it, that wasn’t the case. The skin/scale was totally different from that of an anaconda. The cats (mother and 2 kittens, one missing) were at a distance of approximately 2 metres away staring at it. The snake appeared to be in attack position (based on my knowledge of what I usually see on TV, National Geographic, etc.) and staring at the cats.
I ran around the other side of the house, trying not to panic, put on my long boots and grabbed the shovel since I knew that the cutlass would be too short. By that time, my 8 year old daughter was up and looked on in fear. They used the phone to video the encounter.
I approached from behind the snake and hit it with great force in an effort to probably break it’s back, but the lash had no effect on the snake. I felt as though I had hit a piece of coconut tree trunk. As I tried to hit the second time, not getting a clear shot at the head, the snake struck forward, trying to bite me, but I blocked it, pushing the bench at it.
The smooth concrete made it difficult also for the snake to move since it appeared to be sliding whenever it tried to jump at me or the shovel. I quickly realized that it wasn’t going to work so I used the shovel to push it away under the bench. I then tilted the bench and dropped it on the snake, but it was strong enough to wiggle out.
I tried again. This time, the bench leg dropped just below the head and I immediately climbed on the bench to apply more weight. The shovel was then used to crush its head. Persons who saw it when the ordeal was over said I was lucky because it is a crapo labaria. One bite and I would have been battling for life. It would have been much worse for my child. We soon discovered that one kitten was dead.