Ray Bande, Senior Reporter
WHILE attention has focused on the fate of suspects accused of allegedly possessing the seven-metre-long python, few, if any, have spared a thought for the reptile which is now struggling in its new habitat.
The giant python, which is now under the custody of Cecil Kop Nature Reserve, is vomiting after consuming food as it struggles to adjust to the new environment.
The latest development surrounding the state of the python has divided opinion between science and tradition as divergent explanations are being proffered.
Science-related explanation asserts that the snake is traumatised because of the experiences it went through. It would therefore naturally show signs of distress like vomiting.
However, traditionalists hold that once a snake is used for money -pinning charms either the owner or the snake eventually dies after the reptile has been captured and separated from the owner.
When this newspaper visited Cecil Kop Nature Reserve this week, the reptile remained coiled in a small cave-like habitat that has become its new home.
Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association (ZINATHA) president Mr George Kandiero said once a snake is used for money spinning charms it ceases to be a snake as we all know the reptile but become some money-making ornament.
He said either the owner or the snake eventually dies after the reptile has been captured and separated from the owner.
“The snake might not live longer and the vomiting could be early signs of impending danger to it. In some cases the snake can even disappear mysteriously. In other cases, the family of the owner of the snake can go through difficult times like sickness or even deaths once the snake is captured and separated from the owner. It all depends on what was agreed upon when the owner acquired that snake,” he said.
Cecil Kop Nature Reserve official Knowledge Nyamhoka attributed the vomiting to trauma that the reptile went through from the time it was dumped until it was collected and taken to and from court as exhibit.
“It is sad that the snake has gone through a lot of trauma and we can actually see that. We gave it a chicken and it vomited after consumption.
This is due to the trauma it went through from the time it was dumped until it was collected and taken to and from court as exhibit.
“It is even shy to come out each time it senses that there are people around and this could be fear of being taken away again. We hope that it will recover and be able to acclamatise within the current environment,” said Mr Nyamhoka.
He added that snakes, like the python now in their custody, eat once or twice a month.
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesperson Mr Tinashe Farawo concurred with Nyamhoka in their scientific understanding of wildlife saying the snake would need time to acclimatise to its new environment.
“I remember we had a boy whose snake was taken away from him and he actually declared that if the snake was taken away it would disappear.
It was placed in a glass container and indeed it disappeared. However, ours is a scientific approach and explanation to such cases and we think that snake in Mutare will acclimatise as time goes on.
“The vomiting might be a sign of trauma which will soon end if it then settles and acclimatises to the current conditions,” said Mr Farawo.
Mutare residents were left suspecting satanism and black magic after a couple on board a silver Toyota sedan dumped the python behind Mutare Motoring Club and sped off.
The reptile was placed in a sack that was covered with several red cloths
The two women who are facing charges of contravening Section 45 as read with Section 128 of the Parks and Wildlife Act which prohibits the hunting, keeping or possession of specified animals, are out on bail.
Simbarashe Mupuradzuva (40), who lives in Maonde, is the key witness in the case.
He is the one who claimed to have discovered the snake in lodge where it was kept and subsequently reported the matter to the police.’