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Reptile Dysfunction: An Uber driver overcomes his fear when a passenger takes an anaconda with him


KZN Uber driver Nkanyisa Sithole accepted a ride from a passenger with an anaconda.

PHOTO: Supplied by Nkanyiso Sithole

  • KwaZulu-Natal Uber driver Nkanyisa Sithole accepted a ride request from a passenger and his green anaconda.
  • Journey from Hillcrest to the Falls costs 35 rubles.
  • The The driver said he always had was deathly afraid of snakes, but decided to bite the bullet and drive on.

A snake-fearing KwaZulu-Natal e-taxi driver recently got the shock of his life when he accepted a request for R35 from a passenger – and his slippery companion – for a ride from Hillcrest to the Falls.

Famous Discovery Channel and YouTube host Dingo Dinkelman was a passenger, accompanied by a green anaconda.

Uber driver Nkanyisa Sithole, 32, said he received a ride request and thought a ride to a nearby location would be “quick and easy” because he was already in the area.

Really fast. But easy? Definitely not.

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When he arrived to pick up his passenger, Dinkelman was already waiting for him with a large green anaconda around his neck.

At first he thought his eyes were deceiving him.

“When I came up the road I could see them and I immediately stopped a few meters away from Ding because I had to make sure I was seeing correctly. Yo! To my shock, he was standing there with this big snake on his neck.”

Immediately, when his survival instinct kicked in, he put the car in reverse to drive away. But “Dingo kept yelling at me to stop, saying he needed a ride urgently and that the snake wouldn’t bite.”

He added: “He couldn’t even walk properly because the snake was wrapped around part of his leg. He told me the snake had no venom and he was going to keep the snake on him in the back seat and make sure it didn’t come near me , while I lead them.”

Frightened and hesitant, Sithole said he felt sorry for Dinkelman, so he agreed to give them a ride.

But he was nervous all the way and said:

I kept looking back to see if the snake’s head was further away from me and if it was still around the dingo.

He added that he was told Dinkelman was making the video to educate people about snakes.

“He wanted to see how many e-hailing drivers would stop to give them a ride, and apparently I was the only one who agreed to take them.”

“The crew put towels on the back seat to make the snake comfortable and then put a camera in the car to film everything. I was very scared, but at least I overcame my fear of snakes,” he added.

Dingo posted the video on his Facebook fan page and it has garnered over 5,000 views.

According to his website, the wildlife advocate and adventurer is an award-winning wildlife host for the Discovery Channel and YouTube. With over 3 million monthly views, his YouTube channel is one of the fastest growing channels in South Africa.

Through his videos, he aims to create a lasting bond between humans and animals in the hope that this bond will help save them.

“Our mission is to bring animals into people’s hearts, and sometimes the best way to do that is to bring animals directly into people’s lives,” Dinkelman told News24.

He said he did not approach Uber about making the video.

“To make this video and the Uber driver’s reaction as authentic as possible, we just ordered an Uber and waited for them to come and pick us up. So their reaction to the snake was 100% genuine and not staged. “, he added.

Dinkelman has been telling people about animals for the past 20 years and still enjoys what he does.

He said:

Anacondas have never been proven to attack adults, and they have no venom. And when I was in a car with an Uber driver and a snake, that meant the drivers themselves were never in danger. It was very important for us.

He added that Sithole received a “healthy tip on top of Uber’s usual fee”.

“All the Uber drivers had so much fun filming with us that some of them actually sent us emails and messages saying they’d love to do another episode with us because they had such a great time that day,” he added Dinkelman.

Uber’s head of communications in South Africa, Mpho Sebelebele, said the company was aware the video was making the rounds on social media.

“Uber can confirm that it was in no way involved in the filming of this video and had no knowledge that Dingo Dinkelman would be filming such a video.”

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“Uber encourages riders who plan to ride with a non-service animal to contact the driver accepting their ride request to alert them to the non-service animal. Riders can use the app to send a text message or call to let the driver know they would like to bring a non-service animal,” Sebelebele added.

Sithole said he was not compensated for the video, but after the ride was completed, Dingo gave him 100 rand for his willingness to take part in the video and for being “the only driver to accept the anaconda request”.

“Eventually I touched the snake. But I was still very scared and wouldn’t do it again. It was an experience I will never forget and it made me overcome my fear of snakes in some ways.”

“Some passengers refused to get into my car because they saw the anaconda video. People believe that if you have such a huge snake in your car, you bring bad luck, but I don’t believe in these superstitions at all. .. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have agreed to the trip,” he added.

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