Woman’s two-snake terror: mamba in the dog kennel

2013-11-15 00:00

WHEN Lincoln Meade resident Ashleigh Wegener-Crabtree (37) went out yesterday to give her dogs water she saw a terrifying sight — a black mamba.

It was peering out of the dogs’ kennel. She ran inside and phoned her husband, and then to her horror she spotted another snake on the front lawn.

“It was like living in a nightmare. I am terrified of snakes and I have two little boys, I am just thankful they were at their pre-school.”

Her husband Brett phoned a friend who lives in their townhouse complex. Glydd Dell often catches snakes for people. Dell phoned Wegener-Crabtree and asked her what the snakes looked like. He deduced that one of them was probably a black mamba.

She told him that it reared its head at her from the dog kennel and acted aggressively. He advised her to keep the dogs inside and stay away.

The green snake in the front yard was identified as a harmless bush snake. These snakes often live in trees and eat geckos and small lizards and are not a threat to humans.

Dell phoned his friend, snake catching veteran Zane Barnard, and the pair came to assess the situation.

A frightened Wegener-Crabtree observed the scene from her kitchen window.

“I sound like a fool but I locked the doors as the thought of these snakes coming inside just gave me the shivers.”

The men confirmed that the snake in the back yard was a black mamba, which was not keen to be caught. The snake reared at them and then disappeared down a rat hole and then slid into a drainpipe.

They managed to lure it out of the pipe and secure it. It was 2,5 metres long.

The black mamba was removed and taken to a safer area to be released.

Snake expert Mark Enslin said black mambas are found in various areas around Pietermaritzburg where there used to be bush. He said they are dark grey in colour and should not be confused with a harmless olive house snake.

He said: “It is snake season and I am getting a lot of call-outs. I advise people to try and get a photo of the snake and a decent description. Black mambas have to be relocated as they are poisonous.”

He advised people to contact 10111 if they had a snake emergency and the service would refer calls to him.

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