Calm Mother’s Day black mamba proves an easy catch in Durban

Durban snake rescuer Nick Evans was treated to a black mamba on Mother's Day. Picture: Nick Evans

Durban snake rescuer Nick Evans was treated to a black mamba on Mother's Day. Picture: Nick Evans

Published May 15, 2023


Durban — After a quiet month and a half away from black mambas, Durban snake rescuer Nick Evans encountered one on Mother’s Day.

Evans said that the past month and a half was his quietest spell of mamba calls in years.

He said he received a few videos of males wrestling for a female.

He also said that this behaviour and mating continues throughout winter until August.

“Today’s black mamba was in Westville. The homeowner was walking in his garden when he bumped into it. The mamba saw him, panicked, and took cover in a retaining wall,” Evans said.

“It was, as far as mamba calls ago, an exceptionally easy catch. The mamba was very calm, despite a few ants biting into it.”

He said it was not a large mamba, about 1.8 to 2m in length.

“I’m sure I’ll be seeing some big male mambas soon, though,” Evans said.

He also thanked the family for calling and keeping an eye on the snake until he arrived.

Meanwhile, in an unrelated incident last week, Evans said his mother held the head of a dead black mamba so he could photograph its fangs.

Evans said the black mamba was recently killed on a road and that gave him the opportunity to get the photographs.

He said his brave mother held the head of the snake, as he exposed the fangs and took the pictures.

He clarified that his mother would not grab a live mamba behind the head.

Evans said that the front fixed fangs are relatively small, about 5mm. However, the fangs are efficient and easily pass straight through the fur and skin of their prey (small mammals), as well as dogs, which frequently attack these large snakes.

He said the hollow fangs work like hypodermic needles, injecting the potent neurotoxic venom.

He added that the teeth at the bottom did not inject venom.

“Fangs are also shed and replaced throughout their lifetime. As one falls out, the replacement moves into place and is ready to go,” Evans said.

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