'It was a whopper' - black mamba caught in beer crate in KZN after hiding for months

2020-02-27 12:49
Nick Evans with the elusive black mamba.

Nick Evans with the elusive black mamba. (Supplied by Nick Evans)

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A slippery black mamba that eluded capture for months was finally caught and released by KwaZulu-Natal snake expert Nick Evans on Tuesday. 

Members of the Nazareth settlement near Mariannhill, saw the highly venomous snake on several occasions over the past few months but each time Evans and his friend and colleague Duncan Slabbert visited the area, it was nowhere to be seen.

According to Evans, the mamba had become a bit of a celebrity.

"[On Tuesday] evening, Duncan phoned me to say that the community had found the mamba in a room. He got there less than 10 minutes later, phoning me to tell me it was in an old, half-sized shipping container, which was now being used as a storeroom," Evans said.

The container apparently used to be a tuck shop. The right side of the container was full of beer crates, and the mamba was hiding somewhere in there.

"Duncan and I started clearing out the room. Soon, we knew that if it was still in here, it was behind the beer crates in the corner. We had tried looking, but there was too much clutter in the way.

"Still, I certainly assumed we'd be able to see it. Had it got out through a hole in the rusted metal? But then, we moved a stack of crates and we found it. 

'It was a whopper'

"We could just see a portion of the body, and it was big! I could see the neck section was exposed, so I grabbed that with my tongs. The head reversed back into them, allowing me to reach to grab it. But then the body came thrashing out, perhaps with more force and 'fight' than normal. Maybe it was just because it was such a big snake.

Community members and Nick Evans holding the black mamba that had eluded capture for months. (Supplied by Nick Evans)


"Still, I held my cool and had it restrained. Stretching it out in my hands, I could see it was a whopper. Bigger than I expected it to be, actually," Evans said.

Evans took the mamba outside to show the many excited community members. "There were a good few screams! Impressively, most standing around came to touch the snake.

"They were all so grateful, and thanked us repeatedly. We knew we had just made them very relieved."

Read more on:    durban  |  animals

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