Local snake wrangler Mbali Mtshali joins Nat Geo show

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Siouxsie Gillett, Mbali Mtshali and Simon Keys in Snakes in the City.
Siouxsie Gillett, Mbali Mtshali and Simon Keys in Snakes in the City.
Photo supplied: National Geographic
  • Local snake wrangler Mbali Mtshali joins the eighth season of Snakes in the City.
  • The National Geographic series follows Simon Keys and Siouxsie Gillet as they catch snakes in and around Durban.
  • The new season premieres on Wednesday, 6 July at 18:00 on DStv (182).


Local snake wrangler Mbali Mtshali joins Simon Key and Siouxsie in the eighth season of Snakes in the City.

In the National Geographic Wild show, "the streetwise snake-catchers race across 'Snake City' (Durban) to face some of the world's deadliest snakes in the most bizarre situations and release them back into the wild," reads a press release from the channel.

Mtshali's first exposure to working with reptiles was while volunteering at a non-profit organisation. She later cut her teeth handling snakes while assisting at a reptile park. She has since learnt to handle venomous snakes. Mtshali also conducts tours at the facility, is full of energy and is a dedicated bodybuilder.

When Mtshali joins the team, her skills are immediately put to the test when they go up against a lethal black mamba inside a school, a puff adder in a toilet and an enormous python on a goat farm, not to mention a super-fast monitor lizard in a ceiling, a spitting cobra inside a local shop and many more.

For many years, in my culture, these reptiles have been misinterpreted as a sign of witchcraft, a bad omen and an image of the evil serpent. Working on Snakes in the City shows that residents of Durban can catch snakes too – with the right training. My biggest message for viewers and my community is that snakes are not these evil monsters that they have been made out to be - snakes are more afraid of us than we could ever be of them.

"National Geographic's mission is to ignite the explorer in all of us, and our on-screen experts have a huge role to play in achieving this mission, as they share the wonders of our natural world for with viewers," says Christine Service, Senior Vice President and General Manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa.

"We are excited to welcome Mbali Mtshali to our screens, bringing her infectious energy and passion that, together with Simon and Siouxsie, will go a long way in helping change negative perceptions of these fascinating creatures for National Geographic Wild audiences across the continent."

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