Serpents drive away cane poles
Posted on July 17th, 2013

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ By, Dr. Nishan Wijesinha (Specialist Consultant).

Many villages and in the remotes of towns near paddy fields and open forest and bare lands serpents are a pest to those who walk by. Sometimes in your own lawns and back yards you could find harmful serpents. One at first glance will want to strike it with a broom or a garden tool or a stone. This will eventually lead the serpent to anger and it will strike at any arms length at ease. This will lead to the fate of that person if the serpent was not caught and identified to provide the anti venom. I have advised many people and in my estates too have advised the care-taking families and provided them specially made 8 foot cane serpents drive away poles.

8 foot cane serpents drive away poles

These poles as shown in picture attached; were a technique, which I learnt through village folks of western Zambia; where the geography of the province was dominated by the Barotse Floodplain of the Zambezi river, extending from the confluence of the Zambezi with the Lungwebungu and Kabompo Rivers at the northern border of the province, to a point below Senanga and above the Ngonye Falls in the south. These poles can drive away any serpent without you being attacked by the serpent. Here in Sri Lanka you have to go to Wewaldeniya on the Colombo Kandy road, and show them the pictures of the poles and they will manufacture it to the correct requirements. These can save many lives from serpent attacks and dangers.

7 Responses to “Serpents drive away cane poles”

  1. Vijendra Says:

    Even though the idea seems to be great I have no idea what type of doctor you are after reading the last couple of sentences in the last para of your write up!

    “Here in Sri Lanka you have to go to Wewaldeniya on the Colombo Kandy road, and show them the pictures of the poles and they will manufacture it to the correct requirements. These can save many lives from serpent attacks and dangers.”

    In SL, bamboos are found everywhere. Why should they go to Wewaldeniya to get a piece of bamboo? Besides, if you wanted to help the reader, you could have given a bit more information about the length and the size of the inner circumference, and more than anything else, how to use it. Isn’t it really stupid to omit these vital information?

  2. S.Gonsalkorale Says:

    some one talking about bamboo gahanawa.
    how can a Buddhist country kill snakes ? some suicide to save cattle. this doctor is not a Buddhist, I suspect he is a islamaniac.

  3. mjaya Says:

    It is obvious that this person hasn’t lived in rural Sri Lanka.

    Rural folk ALWAYS enter a paddyfield with a pole 5-7 feet long and tap it on the way. Serpents are sensitive to this tapping and flee to avoid a confrontation.

    As others have pointed out why go to Welweldeniya? Is it like going to a “specific” pharmacy? The only thing that doesn’t add up is that Cane Vendors can’t afford to sponsor a holiday!

    There are plenty of people like this who see wonders when abroad (like the Pyramids) and come back and preach the obvious (like our Ruwanweli Maha Seya)!

  4. Lorenzo Says:


    This may LACK some info. But the effort should be appreciated.

    From 1983 to 2009 serpents killed more SLs than tigers.

    NEEDLESS deaths. MUST be avoided AT ALL COST.

  5. Fran Diaz Says:

    An extract from the net re Snakes :

    “First thing, DO NOT PANIC !!! As mentioned before, there is more than 95% chance that the snake, you have seen, is completely harmless !!! Even if the snake you have encountered is venomous, it is not going to attack or bite unless and until provoked.

    Given 50% chances, any snake, even if it’s venomous, will always try to run away. Remember, snakes fear humans much more than humans fear snakes. Only if the snake gets cornered having no escape route, or you move towards it, or attempt to disturb it or pick it up, the snake can attack. Still, no snake is going to run after you to bite.

    There is no chance of getting bitten is you do the smartest thing at the moment is to just, stand still or move slowly away from the snake. Maintaining safe distance, you can try to identify the snake, but in any circumstances, DO NOT DISTURB or DO NOT HANDLE the Snake. (Read why you must not)

    What to do next depends on the location of snake. If you have spotted the snake outdoors in a (sort of) wild area, like streets far from hostels/quarters (say, 50 meters is far enough), near the ponds, hills (like tanki-top, view-point) or fields/bushes/grasslands away from inhabited regions, just let the snake go on its way, and do not bother it at all”.

    Snakes are generally slithering around searching for food and resting/’nesting’ places. Le them go their way, and we go our way !

    We appreciate Dr NW’s efforts on how to deal with snakes.

  6. mjaya Says:


    It is true that approx. 800 people in SL are killed every year by snakebites.

    Using sticks to drive away snakes is pretty old news and this “innovation” is nothing magical or spectacular at all. It has been common knowledge for generations.

    There are many other ways to avoid snakebites NOT mentioned in this article. A lot of snakebites occur at night, when snakes enter houses and sheds for shelter, when people carelessly put their hands into piles of coconut husks or paddy straw.

    Also why only mention “Weweldeniya” when bamboo can be found almost everywhere in SL?!?

  7. Lorenzo Says:


    I’m also puzzled about mentioning only one place to buy these!!

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