Snakes In The City Returns This Sssseptember

simon and sioux snakes in the city - indian rock python

Simon and Sioux capture a 10-foot Indian Rock Python.(National Geographic for Disney/Mandatory Credit: Earth Touch)

New snakes. New city. New season

JOHANNESBURG, 31 August 2023: National Geographic Wild’s “Snakes in the City” has maintained its status as a cherished favourite among audiences for years. The exhilarating show features herpetologists Simon Keys and Siouxsie Gillett, who respond to calls for assistance in capturing and releasing snakes from homes and buildings in and around Durban. Last season, the pair were joined by local snake wrangler Mbali Mtshali. When the ninth season premieres across Africa on Sundays at 18:00 (CAT) from 3 September, the team will extend their abilities facing new snakes, in a new city, in eight new episodes.

The bustling, coastal metropolis of Durban was once a lush jungle, teeming with black mambas, spitting cobras, green mambas, huge pythons, night adders, bush snakes and boomslangs. It’s their territory and humans built a city right on top of it. Today, the jungle may be gone, but the snakes are here to stay! In the height of Summer, the heat and humidity bring thousands of snakes out of hiding, into direct conflict with the 3.5 million inhabitants of this city. To the relief of those who call, Simon, Siouxsie, and Mbali, experts in animal behaviour, track down and capture some of the world’s most venomous snakes.

Siouxie Gillett, Simon Keys and Mbali Mtshali holding various snakes. (National Geographic for Disney)

They’re on call 24/7 and are there to help. Whether it’s a harmless house snake, a garden hose or a deadly black mamba, each and every call is answered. Once the snakes are caught, they’re checked, nurtured and rehabilitated before being released in the wild – far away from humans!

This season, Simon and Siouxsie receive a call for help from the residents of the beautiful and historical city of Mysore in India. Here, they join forces with renowned local snake enthusiast, wildlife conservationist and lecturer, M. S. Balasubramania, popularly known as ‘Snake Shyam’. The team assist Shyam on his daily callouts for problem snakes found at people’s homes farms, offices and factories during the monsoon season. Simon and Siouxsie will go up against snakes they’ve never dealt with before – including the common krait, the saw-scaled viper, the Russel’s viper, Indian cobras, enormous, reticulated pythons and the infamous King cobra!

Back home, Mbali holds the fort and continues to provide snake support for Durban residents. In the process, she faces new challenges, and goes on to catch her first spitting cobra and her first black mamba on her own, a feat for any snake catcher.

Snakes in the City is produced by Earth Touch for National Geographic.

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