Snakes on the Plane: Is Uganda Airport Infested by Serpents?

Entebbe Terminal

A suspected snake recently climbed onto the Control Tower at the Entebbe International Airport in Uganda.

The alleged reptile reportedly sank its fangs into the hand of the terminal’s Aeronautical Information Management Officer Jonathan Kayizzi.

The incident is causing buzz around the East African Aviation Circles as well as passengers that use the air terminal, some demanding to know how safe the Entebbe Airport is, as far as crawling creatures are concerned.

Local media outlets in Uganda quote the spokesperson of Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) Vianney Luggya, who while admitting the incident was ‘suspected snake bite,’ still sits on the fence if the attack on the official came from the reported reptile.

“It was just suspected to be a snake bite, which is yet to be confirmed,” he argues.

“The doctors checked all the symptoms and the after-effects that a person normally experiences after a snake bite and this particular matter doesn’t seem to be the case.”

The victim, Jonathan Kayizzi, however reported to have been attacked by a snake.

He happens to handle sensitive operations at the air terminal.

His duties include ensuring flight safety, receiving flight plans, disseminating information on flights, issuing Notice to Airmen (Notams) where needed and updating aeronautical information publications.

The aeronautical information management officers usually sit in the Communications Office within the airport Control Tower.

After the bite, Kayizzi’s wound was dressed at Kazuri Airport Medical Centre before he was given painkillers and a drug to reduce the swelling.

Another airport official, Fred Owomukama, is said to have taken a black stone to the hospital at about 3 am to help suck out the poison from the wound.

“The stone absorbs the poison through capillary action reducing the fatality of a snake bite,” but airport management say it was done just as precautions.

All the same, the incident sparked panic among other airport staff as they feared that they could be the next victims.

There are plenty of bushes surrounding Entebbe International Airport, which means many other creatures could be lurking about.

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