LOOK: KZN’s black mamba and Mozambique spitting cobra bonanza

The glowing eye is due to the flash from the phone’s camera. Picture: Nick Evans

The glowing eye is due to the flash from the phone’s camera. Picture: Nick Evans

Published Dec 28, 2023


Durban — In the space of five days, a snake rescuer and a reaction officer rescued five snakes – three black mambas and two Mozambique spitting cobras – in separate call-outs.

Durban snake rescuer Nick Evans rescued one black mamba and two Mozambique spitting cobras, while reaction officer Nkosinath Cyril Ndaba rescued two black mambas.

On Christmas Day, Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa) was called out to a home on Tensing Way in Everest Heights at about 12.50pm.

Rusa spokesperson Prem Balram said the resident reported that a 2m black mamba was slithering out of the kitchen through the window.

“Reaction officer and snake catcher Nkosinath Cyril Ndaba was dispatched to the home and upon arrival searched the area. The snake was found under a wash trough. It was captured and relocated,” Balram said.

Nkosinath Ndaba with a 2m black mamba found under a wash trough in Everest Heights. Picture: Reaction Unit SA

He said that on Saturday night, a 3m black mamba was captured inside a home in Ndwedwe.

Balram said Rusa received a call for help from the homeowner at about 8.30pm after fleeing her residence when she saw a huge snake in the lounge.

“Reaction officers Nkosinath Cyril Ndaba and Bishnu Maharaj arrived at the residence and after a 30-minute search, located the 3m black mamba and removed the snake from the premises,” Balram said.

“It was then relocated to a greenbelt away from residential areas.”

The third black mamba was rescued last Wednesday afternoon by Evans after he was called out to Clare Estate for a black mamba in a lounge.

Evans said the whole family had been sitting in the lounge, playing with children, without any knowledge they were sharing the room with the mamba. It was only a short while later they discovered it.

“I suspect it had come inside to keep cool.

“This mamba could have bitten every family member there if it wanted to. Their fearsome reputation may suggest that’s what these snakes are likely to do in such a situation. But that’s not what mambas want to do. They do not seek confrontation and do not want to bite people, hence why bites are rare. Mambas would rather just hide and hope they remain undetected,” Evans explained.

He said the family reacted correctly by clearing the room and had one person stand at a doorway and watch that the snake did not move across the room, or anywhere else.

“After a brief search, I found the 2.4m mamba curled up in the corner of the lounge,” Evans said.

One of the two Mozambique spitting cobras that were rescued in Westville North. Picture: Nick Evans

From a black mamba to two Mozambique spitting cobras, Evans said he had not caught as many Mozambique spitting cobras this spring and so far summer, as in previous seasons.

However, last Wednesday, he had two calls for them; they were both adults in Westville North.

“The first one was quite easy to guide into an African Snakebite Institute tube. It had spat at an approaching dog before I arrived. Fortunately, the dog received a very minor dose and wasn’t badly affected. The dog’s owners are experienced in treating this situation, so they know what to do (rinse the venom out with water),” Evans explained.

He said he made a note for the database where he documents these incidents in Durban.

Evans said the second cobra was not as easy.

“It took some time finding it. When I did, after hearing some movement in a flowerbed, in this 34C+- heat, the snake was fired up. It was quite a handful and wasn’t as easy to contain as the first one. Fortunately, I got it pinned down and in the tube, without getting spat at,” Evans said.

WhatsApp your views on this story at 071 485 7995.

Daily News