- Harry Baloyi is a herpetologist and works at the Bloemfontein Zoo
- He has been a guider since the age of 13
- In 2008, he was awarded the Best Reptile Keeper by the National Zoo
Mpumalanga-born Harry Baloyi is known as the “Slangman” and looking at his pet boa constrictor, it’s not hard to understand why.
Baloyi works at the Bloemfontein Zoo and is determined to change the negative perceptions and fears people have regarding snakes.
His family lived close to the Kruger National Park and he became a guide at the age of 13.
His love of reptiles stems from his grandfather, who bred crocodiles and snakes.
Sowetan Live reported that Baloyi has suffered 3 significant bites in the past.
The chief culprits were a puff adder, cobra and an African rock python but Baloyi’s love for snakes hasn’t diminished.
Baloyi’s key tip after a snake bite is to avoid using a tourniquet and to seek medical assistance immediately.
Baloyi specialises in the study of amphibians and works as a herpetologist.
Briefly.co.za learned that in 2008, he was labelled the Best Reptile Keeper by the National Zoo.
He hopes to run an organisation that focuses on reptile breeding and educates the public on their purpose.
He said, “They are part of the ecosystem; if they weren’t there, the ecosystem would be incomplete. Mice would run havoc and as human beings, we would get very sick because both humans and rats are mammals and we can pass diseases easily between each other. So in essence, snakes help keep us safe.”
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