By Ellie Duncombe
This snake knows how to score a ssss-trike.
The aggressive little puff adder showed just how it can deliver a potentially deadly blow.
Captured on slow motion camera, the young snake takes less than a second to coil itself and then lashing out, exposing its vicious-looking fangs.
The puff adder was able to get impressive distance in its strike by launching itself from the ground.
Willem Van Zyl, from Cape Town, South Africa, filmed the snake after rescuing it from a house near Montagu on the Western Cape.
The software developer makes short videos of the snakes and other animals he captures to show how they interact with humans.
Willem, 34, said: “My hobby is to capture and relocate snakes, scorpions, and spiders from people’s homes around Cape Town.
“With each video I try to teach my community a little about the relevant animal. I show them how the animal reacts to humans, and then I release it back into the bush away from people.
“This puff adder was retrieved from someone’s house. We filmed with it for about 30 minutes, and it kept striking all the time as they are really bad-tempered snakes.
“Then we released it.
“I always think about how something so beautiful can be so deadly. Puff adders have collapsible fangs and it was amazing to see them on such a small specimen.
“This snake was only 14cms long and other puff adders I have worked with were well over 50cms.
“Puff adders won’t hesitate to defend themselves. Unlike most other snakes they won’t leave when someone approaches, but rather rely on their camouflage to stay safe.
“If they sense a threat that isn’t going away they’ll start loudly huffing and puffing, and if that doesn’t scare away the threat they will strike.
“As you can see in the video, they can strike at quite a distance by launching themselves.”