- Snake rescuer Nick Evans was called to catch a mamba that had made itself at home in a kitchen in rural KwaZulu-Natal.
- Evans was assisted by his colleague Miguel de Fonseca in what turned out to be a challenging rescue.
- The mamba was caught, but smelt terrible, as it had seemingly moved through raw sewage earlier.
KwaZulu-Natal snake rescuer Nick Evans has done it again and safely removed a slippery customer from the roof of a kitchen over the weekend.
Evans said, on Saturday morning, his friend and fellow snake expert Miguel de Fonseca phoned him and asked if he wanted to assist in a mamba rescue. According to De Fonseca, it was a large one, in a roof, in a rural area.
Evans didn't hesitate and raced to pick up De Fonseca and his wife Micaela in Umkomaas.
"After fetching them, we made our way into the rural area of Amandawe, following dodgy WhatsApp locations sent to Miguel, which got us lost. Eventually, we met a man who was sent to guide us on the main road. He guided us along some bumpy roads, which made me grateful I wasn't in my old NP200," Evans says.
"Finally, we made it. A number of community members had gathered around the house, to see the excitement. The mamba was in a kitchen. An interesting kitchen at that, a proper mud hut one.
"One of the community members made us stand at the doorway and pointed out the mamba. We could see it was a large, chunky snake, curled up on a beam of the roof."
Evans walked in, approaching the mamba slowly.
"I couldn't see where the head was. I grabbed what I thought could be the neck, with my tongs. The snake flinched, not happy about being disturbed.
"It turns out, I had it lower down than I thought, so the head managed to pop out the roof between the corrugated iron.
"We didn't want it getting up on the roof, as that would make life a lot more challenging!"
Evans asked De Fonseca to grab the mamba higher up on its the neck, near the head, which was on the other side of the beam, as he didn't want to let go of what he had.
"He did and this allowed me to release and move to his side. I grabbed above his tong and gently pulled the head down, within reaching distance.
"Leaning my tongs against the mud wall, with the head reversing into them, I grabbed the head of the powerful snake. Job done!"
But, says Evans, he quickly realised this was no normal mamba. Physically, it wasn't different to any other.
"But it didn't smell like any mamba I've smelt before. No. This one smelt like some of the places I've had to look for mambas. Yes, this mamba has most definitely moved through human excrement at some point, maybe through where sewage water was flowing on to the ground.
"The skin was dirty from the dried water. The smell was just unpleasant, to say the least."
Evans said, despite the smell, many members of the public were keen to touch their unwanted visitor.
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