Woman wakes up to find 3m black mamba next to bed

By Drum Digital
10 May 2017

A Durban woman had to flee from her home when a black mamba came to "visit".

Odette Parfitt

Durban - To have an afternoon nap interrupted is bad enough, but a Durban woman had to flee from her home when a black mamba came to "visit".

Nick Evans of the KwaZulu-Natal Amphibian and Reptile Conservation organisation told Netwerk24 he was called to a home in Westville on Saturday after the woman had woken up to see a mamba peeking over the side of her bed.

"I initially thought it was just a house snake, because I regularly get calls about 'mambas', which turn out to be house snakes," Evans said.

"But when the woman said it was 3m to 4m long, I knew it was the real McCoy."

Evans roped in his grandfather, David Gillies, 91, as well.

"It was the first time that he'd gone with to catch a mamba, and he was delighted."

The owner of the house, who'd been waiting outside her front door, was less excited.

"She said when she'd woken up, the snake was already right next to her bed. It tried to slither away to hide and she used her duvet as a shield to get past it - which actually was very clever, because it would've been difficult for the snake to bite her through the bedding."

By the time Evans got there, the mamba had already found a place to hide.

"There were more than enough places to hide, but when I saw that the cupboard door was open, I knew that was where it was. I opened the door and saw part of its body on a box, but when I got closer, I suddenly saw its head, close enough to strike.

"I slowly moved back and heaved a sigh of relief when the danger had passed."

Evan said he first watched the snake try to get into the sleeves of the hanging clothes. "After a while I noticed that it was becoming agitated because I was in its way and I had to - very carefully - catch it."

Although he has to help catch mambas every month, Evans gave Westville residents the assurance that they didn't have to be afraid.

"It is uncommon to see them in a house. Just remember, unlike criminals, mambas are more scared of you and would prefer being left alone."

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