Concern as 2,5?m black mamba found as far as Umbilo

2015-03-03 00:00

A MONSTER 2,5 metre black mamba was caught in Umbilo, Durban, on Sunday, which left handlers questioning if the species has begun travelling.

Snake handler Shaun Venter said although the serpent wasn’t the largest black mamba he has seen, he had never seen one in Umbilo before.

“With Umbilo being a built-up area, close to the city, we don’t normally find them here. In Durban we generally find them in the southern parts, such as Umhlatuzana. It was quite a shock. These snakes are obviously moving. There are rats in the area and because the snake was so large it had obviously been eating. Black mambas are not known to travel far from their homes,” he said.

“Warmer weather produces favourable conditions for snakes to be noticed closer to homes.”

Venter said the snake had been sighted by residents a number of times ­before they received a call from a homeowner whose house the snake tried to enter.

Together with fellow snake handler Jason Arnold, they climbed into a tree to retrieve the mamba.

“The snake is currently with Jason. It will be measured and microchipped before being released into a nature reserve close to the area it was found in,” he said.

Within the past six weeks, Venter said that they had removed a number of black mambas in Durban, and five Mozambican spitting cobras in Bluff alone.

He said that his job was ultimately to save the snake; however, he warned that people who come across these ­animals should be cautious.

“If you find a snake, back off; if you are in a confined area remain dead still. Try not to aggravate the animal,” he said.

Handy numbers if you spot a snake:

Shaun Venter: 061 466 3081 (Durban Central and all areas South/Toti and west to Westville)

Zane Barnard: 082 850 7713 (Pietermaritzburg)

Warren Venter: 073 148 0884 (Durban Central and all areas South/Toti and west to Westville)

Byron Zimmerman: 082 894 6783 (Highway / Hillcrest area)

Jason Arnold: 082 745 6375 (Greater Durban)

Nick Liebenberg: 082 782 3145 (New Germany)

Chris Lourens: 084 364 5150 (Queensburgh)

Dean Boshoff: 083 613 0827 (Bluff)

Rishaad Ally: 083 696 7801 (Chatsworth)

Tyrone Ping: 084 492 2542 (Durban North)

Rob Macmillan: 073 403 7626 (Pinetown).

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