Jumierah Park residents on stay cautious after multiple snake sightings.
Residents of Jumeirah Park say they are living in constant fear after recurring snake sightings in the vicinity every now and then. Recent reports of sightings of venomous snakes in Jumeirah Park have sparked alarm among residents who say they are keeping their children indoors and also avoiding sitting in their backyards due to the fear of a snake encounter.
Talking about the multiple encounters with snakes in the area, Scottish expat Shona Slater, who has been living in Jumeirah Park for the last four years, said they first encountered a snake in their garden in August this year. “Our gardener found it lurking in the trees. When he pulled it out, using a rake, it was a kind of viper snake (we learnt later). Tt was very slow during the day as these snakes are nocturnal. The gardener managed to kill the snake then as we were too scared.”
On November 2, Saturday, the Slaters’ nanny found another snake in their garden while tidying the children’s garden toys. “The children had been playing with the toys about 5pm on the Friday, so it appeared some time during the night. We have two children aged 6 and 3 and I’m now terrified of their safety, as this was the second snake we’ve had in our very own backyard! The children love being outside and the weather is now so lovely for them to enjoy the outdoors more. I understand that we live next to a large sand area which they would be quite at home in, but it’s still scary when they’re closer than you’d want them to be.”
Lauding the Dubai Municipality for their swift action, Slater said: “Dubai Municipality have been great for their swift action, and they came and at once sprayed our garden with the required sprays to keep the snakes off. However, we are also concerned about the whole community as there have been other incidents in the homes as well as parks in the community but no spraying or any other action was taken in the area.”
In another close encounter with a saw-scaled viper, one of the deadliest snakes found in the UAE, Jumeirah Park resident Hana Sawaya said she saw strange coloured head popping out from between some plants. ” I was working in my garden barefeet, bare hands, wearing shorts when I noticed strange movement between the plants. I could not believe it was a snake and dismissed it as some lizard but when I used a stick to investigate, to my horror I saw it was a snake. I panicked and didn’t know what to do as it was next to my kitchen. I tried hitting it but it slipped away.”
Sawaya called the municipality who at once came and sprayed her garden. “This incident has affected me psychologically as I now keep fearing seeing a snake as soon as I enter my garden. It is now always playing in my mind as I fear I might find it in the laundry bag or just anywhere. I also noticed two days back my dog was acting strange. It seemed fearful and was trying to hide. I now can correlate it with the snake sighting because the snake was found in next to area where my dogs play.”
I just hope the authorities create more awareness about the incident as quite a few people have encountered snakes even while walking outside in the community. We need to keep the community informed as there are so many children playing outside in the gardens and on the sidewalks,” she added.
Previously sightings of such venomous snakes have been at homes in Jumeirah Islands and Emirates Living.
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