Skip to content

The dangerous playmates of Willem’s dog Emily

- News, Wildlife, Ranger's Blog

Willem, Rhulani’s 26-year-old ranger, has a beautiful black dog named Emily. Emily accompanies his master everywhere and also lives with him, in the middle of the African bush, when Willem is at work and shows our guests around the Madikwe Reserve. Then, Emily also goes on a journey of discovery and always comes across his favorite toys - the snakes.

DSC 0423
Screenshot 2022 12 30 at 16 09 28 750 423 s
Screenshot 2024 03 15 at 10 40 18

Just a few days ago, Willem came back to Rhulani after a two-week break and was getting ready for the next work cycle when Emily ran around in a circle outside, not far at all, wagging her tail happily. That was rather unusual, so let’s take a look!

And indeed: Emily had found a snake in the middle of the grass, which in turn had a green cameleon in its sights. Emily guarded the snake well, while Willem was still puzzling over exactly which snake it was. It wasn't easy to see.

Soon some more experts arrived, with their cameras, and as expected the snake had snapped at its prey in the meantime. Willem marveled: "I've actually never seen anything like this here before". It was a very relaxed Boomslang that allowed us to watch as she let the poor chameleon disappear head first into her wide open mouth.

The name “Boomslang” gets your adrenaline pumping because if you are bitten and not treated in time, you usually die. But among people used to the bush, and also for Emily, a boomslang is not a cause for concern, on the contrary, everyone wanted to get the best and closest place to observe it. Boomslang is known to be quite shy and has no further medical significance.

“My Emily has a special preference for snakes and always finds them," says Willem, a little concerned about his pet's special hobby. “She has been spat at by a Mozambique Spitting Cobra a few times in the last few months, and she has also been bitten by a Puff Adder.” And yet, none of this seems to impress the beautiful black dog.

Just a few days later, Emily was barking again somewhere behind the employees' quarters and running around, quite excited. And again. When we went to check, she had actually found a Black Mamba. Emily dutifully helped to keep this dangerous snake under control until Rhulani's rangers arrived with the necessary tools. A pincer - the so-called "snake catcher"- and a tube to put the Mamba in. Emily proudly watched the catch.

As we always do, the Black Mamba was brought back into the wild and released in far distance from Rhulani. Well done Emily!

Related articles