In South Africa, a new world record has been claimed, for living with poisonous snakes.
GV EXTERIOR People entering Snake Park near Pretoria (2 shots)
SV INTERIOR Various kinds of snakes crawling in branches of tree
GV Johannes Mothemane being given champagne
CU PULL BACK SV Snake crawling over Mothemane's boot
SCU PULL BACK GV Mothemane accepting congratulations from park officials
CU PULL BACK SV Snake crawling over fruit basket and reaching for Mothemane's champagne
SCU Young children watch through window
SV Snake moves from fruit to floor taking fruit with it
SV Crowds watching
CU Snake on ground
SV Mothemane with snake round his neck being interviewed
MOTHEMANE: "I'm feeling very well. I'm still going to do eight days more. I'm on fifty-two today. I'm very happy to break this record of fifty-two days."
INTERVIEWER: "So you're not tired of snakes yet, Johannes?"
MOTHEMANE: "No. No chance."
INTERVIEWER: "Would you do it again?"
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In South Africa, a new world record has been claimed, for living with poisonous snakes. Johannes Mothemane, a black South African, has kept company with adders and cobras for fifty-two days, and says he'll stay for another eight.
SYNOPSIS: The crowds flocked into the snake park near Pretoria to see Mothemane and his friends, although snake sit-ins are becoming common-place in the area. The old record was set a week ago in another park a few miles away.
Mothemane earned his champagne by living with thirty-five poisonous snakes, of which twenty-four had to be with him the whole time. Six had to be black mambas, one of the deadliest of all serpents. And they kept him close company.
While he accepted congratulations, Mothemane's record was being challenged by the previous holder. He claims the cage was too large and supervision inadequate.
The Snake Park authorities say all the rules wee correctly enforced, but this snake seemed unaware of the controversy as he decided to quench his thirst.
This one showed little respect for his human environment, and local laws against pilfering. Mr. Mothemane was proud of his record, and said he intended to stay in his cage for a few days more.