The name Boomslang is a derivative of both Dutch and Afrikaans with “Boom” meaning tree or beam and “Slang” meaning snake. Therefore, the Boomslang is literally a tree snake, and has so far been the only type of its species found in its genus. The full adult length of a Boomslang is between 3 to 5 and a half feet, but some have been measured to an excess of 6 feet. Typically males take on a lovely greenish colour with hints of black or blue while the females tend to be brown shades. The colours do vary though. At hatching the males are shades of grey with blue speckles while the females are a dull brown colour. The hatchlings are not dangerous to humans, but do become dangerous once they reach a length of about 45 cm and the width of a human’s smallest finger. During cool weather the Boomslang has been known to seek refuge in the nests of some types of birds where it will hibernate for a period of time. Living almost exclusively within the tops of trees, the Boomslang tends to feed off of other tree dwelling animals and birds including lizards, chameleons, frogs, nesting birds and the eggs of those birds. They tend to swallow their prey whole. The venom of the Boomslang targets the blood of the prey or victim. Typically the venom will cause bleeding internally and externally and stops the coagulation process, meaning the victim will not be able to create the clotting to stop the bleeding. Antivenom has been produced and is widely available in Boomslang regions. The venom, unlike other snakes, takes a while to set in, giving the victim sufficient time to get treatment. However, many people seem to think that if they haven’t experienced effects in a short time frame that the Boomslang bite has been dry with no venom or that they aren’t in a serious situation. Boomslang bites have proven fatal in the past, so seeking assistance is highly recommended as soon as possible.

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