AS snake experts from the Emperor Valley Zoo visited the Point Fortin hospital yesterday to check for snakes on the compound, more horror stories from the facility started to emerge.
On Wednesday, nurses at the hospital told Newsday that in the past six weeks, seven snakes have been found on the compound and in wards.
Yesterday, Newsday went to the hospital and met staff who revealed that in addition to a snake infestation, there has also been an ongoing issue with pigeons, flies and even a corbeaux entering the kitchen.
They said they have been complaining about the birds and flies invading the kitchen for almost a year and they have been asking for three screen doors to be installed.
“They always say they don’t have money to buy the screens and install them,” one worker said. The corbeaux, Newsday was told, flew into the open kitchen door a few months ago and had to be chased out with a broom.
“We can’t close the doors while we are in here because there is only one window for ventilation, so we will cook ourselves if we have to lock up.”
President of the Zoological Society, Gupte Lutchmedial, confirmed that two zoo employees had visited the hospital to check for snakes.
Lutchmedial said based on the description and photos provided by staff, the majority of the snakes found on the compound have been identified as the vine snake or horse whip snake.
He said while they may lunge at people, they do not have teeth or fangs to bite and are not poisonous.
Lutchmedial said the snake experts were sent after Newsday highlighted the issue.
“Minister Clarence Rambharat messaged me on Wednesday night, he must have read the story online and said he wanted us to send someone.”
He said Christian Blake and Kishore Ramlogan have more than 30 years’ experience in that field between them. He said a mixture with black disinfectant was sprayed to keep the snakes away. If you find a snake in your home, Lutchmedial said, you can contact the zoo at 1-800-4ZOO and employees will be sent.
In a release yesterday, the South West Regional Health Authority admitted there were snakes on the hospital compound.
The authority said it has started an aggressive ground-maintenance campaign and asked the Point Fortin borough corporation and the Ministry of Agriculture’s forestry division for assistance.