A photo of a of a big python, spotted at Karura Forest in Nairobi, has caused anxiety with many vowing to avoid the area at all costs.
Karura forest is a popular spot for runners, picnickers and those who just want to take in the fresh air and the forest scenery.
See also location map below.
It is a must-visit location for anyone visiting the Kenyan Capital and even for the residents, and that is why pandemonium set in when it was confirmed that the 2,570 acre forest is home to the giant snake that was spotted and many others.
A python is a constrictor; it kills by wrapping itself around a prey which results in “shutting off” of blood flow and oxygen leading to unconsciousness and cardiac arrest before it then swallows the prey whole.
There were those who are just afraid of snakes and cannot co-exist in the same location with them and that is understandable, but there were some not so clever ones who demanded that the snake be moved from its natural habitat. Double face palm.
Twitter user Paul Kaweru had the best answer to those seeking its removal; “Why is Karura Forest trending? Was the python supposed to rent a bungalow in Muthaiga?”
But forget the dumb questions and let us answer the question that majority posed, is it safe to still visit the forest that has such big snakes?
The answer is yes. If you are not confident enough in our answer, then let us go to people who have some expertise and know a bit about snakes.
Friends of Karura Forest (FKF), a Community Forest Association that manages the place together with the Kenya Forest Service issued a statement on Thursday confirming the existence of the African Rock Python and others but at the same time moved to calm the nerves.
“There is no need for joggers or bikers to worry. Pythons are harmless to people, unless, as with most animals, they are cornered or severely provoked. They are not venomous at all,” they wrote on their Facebook page.
They said the python was “spotted crossing the Shady Path near Junction 41” by FKF Chief Scout, John Chege.
FKF also said the snake had wandered from its normal area because of drought.
“Pythons are solitary and typically stay near water. It is likely that this one has wandered up from the Ruaka River, looking for prey during this severe dry period, or perhaps to shed its skin,” they said.
While the snake is still a snake and will do “snakelike things” when provoked, the Community Forest Association asked runners, joggers and anyone who ventures into the woods to not bother the snakes.
“Rest assured, if you stay on Karura’s designated trails (and don’t wander off-trail along the rivers), the very few snakes will sense your presence through vibrations in their bellies and get quickly out of your way,” they added.
The Chairman of Friends of Karura Forest Prof Karanja Njoroge asked patrons to “keep to the designated tracks.”
You should also stay near your children and dogs when out on the trails. Don’t bother them and they won’t bother you, simply. Oh, also, don’t take naps inside the forest, you will just be tempting the animals.
By Citizen Reporter For Citizen Digital
Overview of National Parks and protected areas in Kenya + News about.
List of National Parks
Arawale National Reserve / Bisanadi National Reserve / Boni National Reserve / Buffalo Springs National Reserve / Dodori National Reserve / Kakamega Forest National Reserve / Aberdare National Park / Amboseli National Park / Arabuko Sokoke National Park / Central Island National Park / Chyulu Hills National Park / Hell's Gate National Park / Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park / Lake Nakuru National Park / Malindi Marine National Park / Malka Mari National Park / Masai Mara National Park / Meru National Park / Mombasa Marine Park / Mount Elgon National Park / Mount Kenya National Park / Mount Longonot National Park / Nairobi National Park / Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park / Ruma National Park / Saiwa Swamp National Park / Sibiloi National Park / Tsavo East National Park and Tsavo West National Park / Watamu Marine National Park
List Of Nature Reserves
Kisumu Impala Sanctuary / Lake Bogoria National Reserve / Masai Mara National Reserve / Mwaluganje elephant sanctuary / Mwea National Reserve / Rimoi National Reserve / Samburu National Reserve / Shimba Hills National Reserve / Tana River Primate Reserve / Witu Forest Reserve (Utwani Forest Reserve)
Marine parks and reserves
Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park / Kiunga Marine National Reserve / Malindi Marine National Park / Mombasa Marine National Park and Reserve / Tana River Primate National Reserve /Watamu Marine National Park
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