- Local snake catcher Nick Evans has rescued a 2.5m black mamba from the roof of a scrapyard on the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal.
- Retrieving the mamba proved quite the challenge even for the seasoned snake catcher.
- Evans expects to receive many more calls in the coming weeks as black mamba mating season kicks off in winter.
Local snake catcher Nick Evans rescued this 2.5m black mamba from the roof of a scrapyard's storeroom on the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal earlier this month.
He told News24 he was happy to have received a call from the scrapyard's owners.
"They used to kill snakes there, but one of the members of the family started following me on social media and then decided to call me instead of killing the snake, which was great."
Evans said it was a delicate retrieval. And while it took only about 20 minutes, he needed some more hands to ensure a safe removal without harming the snake, himself and one of the scrapyard's employees.
"I got a long ladder and I climbed up and got the tail but then the head popped out about 2m away from me. So, I had to move over, but I also didn't want to let the tail go because the snake could shoot off to somewhere else."
"One of the workers, Joe, volunteered to hold the tail for me while I moved the ladder to try and get the head. It's very rare for someone to offer to hold the tail of a mamba."
Evans said such calls were far from unusual at the height of the black mamba mating season.
"In Durban, in the last few days we have been hit with a cold front, so it has been really cold, so I haven't caught anything, but, mambas mate in the winter months.
"They have been fairly quiet but with this cold front, that's going to spark some more. So, I expect winter to be generally busy," he added.
The large venomous reptile was released not too far from the area where it was found.
"I don't release all mambas in one place. I release them in different areas because you can't over-populate an area. I also try not to take them too far from where they come from," the snake catcher said.
Evans advised people to immediately call a snake catcher when they find a black mamba, to keep their distance but to keep monitoring its whereabouts while waiting on the professionals.
"[Black mambas] are very misunderstood, so people say if that snake sees you, it's going to attack you but it won't. If you leave a mamba alone, it will leave you alone.
"If you do see a mamba and you have dogs, try and keep your dogs away if possible because dogs go for them and then it doesn't end well. Keep an eye on the snake and call a snake catcher."