- A boy's game was cut short after his ball rolled to a stop right next to a venomous snake in his backyard.
- Snake rescuer Nick Evans was called out to retrieve the 2.1m black mamba in Westville in September.
- Evans battled through thick terrain and an army of biting ants to rescue the snake from its hiding spot.
Veteran snake rescuer Nick Evans had his hands full battling an army of ants during a mamba rescue in KwaZulu-Natal in September.
Evans had responded to a call out in Westville to rescue a 2.1m black mamba in a family's backyard.
He told News24 the female mamba had cut a boy's game short after his ball rolled through their back garden and stopped right next to the venomous snake.
"It was a perfect hiding spot for the snake. There was enough coverage to keep it hidden, and there were probably some rats and mice hanging around there too."
Equipped with his trusted snake hook and a pair of flip-flop, Evans had to cut through the thick terrain for about an hour to find the well-hidden mamba.
"It was a hot day when I got the call out, and unfortunately, I did not have the right shoes at the time, but it added to the experience," the snake conservationist said.
However, during his search, he encountered an ant nest that made his job even more difficult.
"It was horrible! They were crawling everywhere, and they were biting too. They were crawling in my ears."
Yet, this is just one of the many challenges Evans faces in his line of work.
"I've had many challenging experiences. Going into a ceiling on a hot summer's day to retrieve a mamba is not fun. Digging a python out from someone's veranda was not easy either," he said.
After successfully retrieving the snake, Evans set it free in a more suitable and safer environment away from neighbours and pets.