Snakes as security guards

By Paul Kerstein

Sick of the high cost of employing human security personnel or high-tech surveillance systems? Try using snakes. It worked in South Africa.I came across this fascinating bit of news on www.go.co.za, the site for Go & Express, an East London, South Africa newspaper.The newspaper reports that some residents are resorting to using snakes as a crime deterrent. Plagued by South African youth gangsters, or tsotsis, some business owners are displaying "Beware of snakes" signs, if they're not buying live snakes.The owners of Creative Printers at the Oriental Plaza in East London have six snakes on the premises. According to the news article, one of the co-owners had to fend off three men with the help of a python when they tried to rob the shop. She told reporters that she grabbed the snake, which was near the counter, and went towards the would-be criminals, who turned and ran.The store's security force consists of a boa constrictor, a yellow rat snake, an olive green, an anaconda, a brownhouse and a California king snake. Quite a formidable team.Apparently, the best part of security snakes, according to the article, is the fact that they don't sleep.If anyone knows of any methods other animals can be humanely used for security purposes (in addition to guard dogs), please share your thoughts.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

Get the best of CSO ... delivered. Sign up for our FREE email newsletters!