Black Mamba Catch and Release, KwaZulu-Natal

South African snakes with venoms that are considered to be medically important.

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Black Mamba Catch and Release, KwaZulu-Natal

Postby Nick Evans » Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:04 pm

Hi all

Yesterday I was called out to a town called Queensborugh, near Durban. The owners of the house had reported a large snake in their store room.

When I arrived, the gardener was standing at the entrance to the storeroom, keeping an eye on the snake. As I stepped in, I could just see a bit of the tail of a Black Mamba disappearing into a hole in the roof! If it wasn't for road works I probably would have got it before it went up! We could hear it moving around, it sounded big! Then the noise stopped.

Not sure knowing what to do, I said to the owner we may need to make a hole in the roof. He said "Go for it!", so I got a hammer and started smashing a hole in his roof! It wasn't working too well so I climbed up onto the roof, and started ripping off the tiles and cutting the plastic! I peered inside cautiously, and couldn't see anything.

Feeling puzzled as to it's whereabouts, I walked into the room again having a look around. The owner then said that the room is doubled-walled, and that there's storage space between the two walls! He showed me what was like a doorway to this space, but there was a big pile of random things in the way. I started clearing it with the gardener, and noticed there was a counter in the space, which I could stand on to look in the roof. No need! After moving a few things I saw the snakes tail!

The mamba was hiding in the corner, on this counter. I moved the last few objects and had a clear view. A cornered mamba is not a happy animal! With the aid of my grabstick/tongs, I safely secured the head and pulled it out. What an awesome feeling (You'll see how chuffed I am in the video). It was a female, measured out at 2,5 meters.

What was great was, the fact that the gardener, who usually fears and kills snakes, got willingly involved! He helped clear the room, filmed the capture, helped measure it and even had a pic taken with it!

Black Mambas really are just incredible snakes, so majestic and intelligent, yet extremely powerful!

Below are some pics...

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Me and Bongi, the gardener:
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The store room:
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The battered roof!
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Today I took the snake to a nearby nature reserve to release. It was a great experience, she was quite calm and relaxed. She wasn't too bothered by us taking photos and filming. Truly remarkable snakes!

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Had to get my hands on this snake, it was just too beautiful!

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Perfect Mamba habitat

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Here are two links to the videos of the capture, and the release, check it out:
https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1400762693572471
http://youtu.be/Jl-UkxiD5lw

Thanks for looking :)

For more interesting stories like this, about reptiles and even amphibians in South Africa, or any other sightings etc , please like my Facebook page, KwaZulu-Natal Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (https://www.facebook.com/zululandherps)
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Re: Black Mamba Catch and Release, KwaZulu-Natal

Postby Durban Keeper » Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:05 am

Seriously awesome post. I dig all the pics Nick. I'm sure this will be your first of many. Well done!
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Re: Black Mamba Catch and Release, KwaZulu-Natal

Postby Nick Evans » Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:56 am

Thanks a lot Dean!
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Re: Black Mamba Catch and Release, KwaZulu-Natal

Postby Mitton » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:03 am

Well done Nick, beautiful snake!
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Re: Black Mamba Catch and Release, KwaZulu-Natal

Postby Bushviper » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:14 am

I am sure that mamba was glad it was you and not some collector or snake killer. Looks like he has a decent new home.
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Re: Black Mamba Catch and Release, KwaZulu-Natal

Postby Nick Evans » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:48 am

Thanks Mitton and BV!

BV, the snake almost met it's end from a spade! Thankfully the people were patient enough to wait for me.
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Re: Black Mamba Catch and Release, KwaZulu-Natal

Postby reptile » Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:26 pm

Well done! Nice Pics too!
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Re: Black Mamba Catch and Release, KwaZulu-Natal

Postby Westley Price » Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:35 am

Awesome series of pictures and nice story to go with it!
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