Photographs of a Cape Cobra slithering along Hout Bay beach and even into the water caused a stir on Twitter and Facebook. Resident Jeffrey Rink confirmed he saw the reptile and herded it out of the Atlantic Ocean waters into the sand.
HOUT BAY, Cape Town - Jeffrey Rink had been taking regular walks on Hout Bay beach for more than ten years without incident.
Days ago, however, his usual stroll was interrupted by an encounter with a terrifying creature - a venomous snake.
"Really, it looked like a piece of seaweed," said Rink in a telephonic interview with eNCA.com.
The snake Rink spotted -- a Cape Cobra -- is one of the most venomous snakes on the African continent. On Sunday, the specimen found its way onto the sands of Hout Bay beach and Rink was there to capture it all on camera at around 15:45 CAT.
He told eNCA.com he was upset to hear and read others were taking credit for the photographs he took.
At first, it seemed Janice Gianna Wagner was the source of the images, which celebrity Vanessa Heywood then shared on Twitter.
But Rink says he took the original pictures and then sent them to his partner who shared them with Wagner. She posted the photographs on a community Facebook group for Hout Bay residents.
Rink confirmed the sighting of the Cape Cobra was true and not a Photoshop hoax. A couple of Hout Bay residents, including Michelle Clarke, responded to confirm the sighting.
Wagner had told eNCA.com she was walking with a cousin and a friend when she saw the slithery swimmer.
"It is real and it is ridiculous to Photoshop," Wagner told eNCA.com in a text message.
Some Hout Bay residents and others on Twitter expressed disbelief at the remarkable photographs of a large snake (by some estimates around 1.8 metres long) on the popular beach.
But, responding to an eNCA.com story on the topic, there were some who were adament the snake pictures were legitimate.
"We herded it from the sea," Rink explained of his encounter with the cobra. Rink and another beachgoer called Claire managed to coerce it away from the water and towards a log.
"I kept people and dogs away."
"It wasn&39;t aggressive and I know the striking distance," he said when asked if he was fearful of the reptile.
Rink says the cobra burrowed itself into the sand under the log until it was barely noticeable, which he admitted was the scariest part.
He said anyone walking past unawares would not have been aware of the cobra hiding in the sand.
"It was about two hours I spent with a Cape Cobra," he said of his experience.
Interestingly, Rink is a clinical psychologist with an interest in environmental issues. He runs environmnetal retreats as a form of therapy, and this wasn&39;t the first time he had encountered a snake.
"Snakes are actually an interest of mine." he said cheerily. Sounds like the perfect person to herd a dangerous cobra from the sea into the sand.
* Watch an amateur video clip from Jeffrey Rink of the encounter, in the gallery above.
** This story was amended. It originally stated Skye Grove saw the snake firsthand but she contacted the author to say she had not.
*** Snake expoert Shaun MacLeod spoke to eNCA about the Hout Bay cobra. Watch the video in the gallery above.