By Luke Kenton
This deadly venomous viper was provided a lifeline by daring rescuers, after being trapped in an underground water chamber for over a month.
Renowned for its harshly dry desert seasons, the sandy wilderness of Assa, Morocco, finds itself laden with hundreds of underground water chambers that are designed to retain water during the wet season, assisting with the droughts ahead.
But for one solemn Sharan Horned Viper, the chamber acted as a pit trap for the unfortunate reptile, who is believed to have been stuck within for over a month, with no way out and no source of food or water.
With ‘less than a week’ to live, thankfully for the Saharan native snake, reptile rescuer Max Jackson was on hand to help, having spent the last few days searching the hollows in case of stranded wildlife.
The severely malnourished ‘Cerastes cerastes’ looks visibly disheveled and distressed upon Max’s arrival, but the notoriously vicious snake remains completely docile as he gratefully drinks from Max’s water bottle.
Max, originally from Queensland, Australia, who is currently travelling the world as a wildlife photographer, said: “Whilst in Morocco we came across hundreds of these chambers and noticed a lot of reptiles finding themselves in deep bother.
“Before this rescue we had saved over two dozen snakes and reptiles, including Puff Adders and Egyptian Cobras, so we were lucky to find this guy too.
“This particular snake was severely dehydrated and would’ve inevitably died if left for a week or so more.
“It was an immense relief to see the snake accepting our water that is so desperately needed.
“Prior to us offering water, the snake had been feeling extremely threatened by us and kept striking out.
“It was great to see it’s dire need for water was prioritised over defensive behavior.
“The poor little guy had a rough couple of weeks, but he will make a full recovery.”