The President of Liberia has been told to evacuate the official office of the President due to a possible infestation of poisonous snakes.
We often take for granted the relative safety we share in North America, where most snakes are non-venomous and even the ones that are poisonous tend to steer clear of humans. But not everywhere enjoys that same safety. There are places in the world where there are snakes packing enough toxin to kill a man in a single bite.
Place such as Liberia. According to the website TLC Africa, there are at least a dozen species of venomous snake native to Liberia, any of which can cause a bite that is fatal to humans.
So when a couple of black snakes were spotted in the Liberian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they got President George Weah out and told him not to come back for at least two days while they got the place fumigated.
You might be wondering why the President of Liberia doesn’t have an official residence and is currently working out of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Well, he used to, but the official Presidential palace was destroyed back in 2006, and the country is both horrifically corrupt and desperately poor, making the creation of another official residence a difficult undertaking.
Now, even the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been placed off limits--at least for a few days. Speaking to the BBC, deputy press secretary Smith Toby said that the president had been told to avoid the building after there was a sighting of two black snakes. Black snakes are particularly worrisome to Liberia as the black mamba, one of the most venomous snakes in the world, has darkly-colored scales.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosts the office of the president, so it did an internal memo asking the staff to stay home while they do the fumigation," he said. "That building's been there for years now, and [because of] the drainage system, the possibility of having things like snakes crawling in that building was high.”
Weah has been President of Liberia ever since being elected in 2018. He’s a former international soccer star and was voted FIFA’s player of the year back in 1995.