Thick, well-fed and large black mamba chilling out on engine rescued in Westville

Nick Evans said Looks a bit like a pipe, doesn't it Picture: Nick Evans

Nick Evans said Looks a bit like a pipe, doesn't it Picture: Nick Evans

Published Apr 30, 2024


Durban snake rescuer Nick Evans and veterinarian Dr Carla Goede made a U-turn following a call to rescue a black mamba while on their way to treat a monitor lizard which survived a dog attack.

Evans said both he and Goede were on their way to treat a monitor lizard, which survived a dog attack, last Wednesday when he got a call about a black mamba located in a garage in Westville.

“We soon arrived at the property, and Carla and I started our search. It was a neat, well-packed garage, thankfully, but it still provided the mamba with multiple hiding spots,” Evans said.

He said the homeowner had reversed his Toyota Hilux immediately after the mamba entered the garage, worrying the snake would go under his bakkie. Despite that, he suggested it could be in there.

“I thought it was certainly possible, but the garage seemed the more appealing option to the mamba,” Evans said.

He said that while he and Goede checked every hiding spot, the homeowner brought up his bakkie again, suggesting, again, that the black mamba could be in there.

“I wasn’t convinced, but I thought I’d check seeing as we were having no luck,” Evans said.

“As I opened the bonnet, there was a portion of the body of a thick, well-fed and large black mamba! Relaxing on the back of the engine compartment, thankfully.

“I had gotten a fright, muttered a phrase that shouldn’t be typed out, and called Carla nervously yet as calmly as possible “Carla… tongs… quickly…”, Evans said.

"As I say, the pic doesn't do the mambas size justice. Still, as you can see, we were very happy!" Nick Evans said. Picture: Nick Evans

He said they may have had a long evening ahead if the mamba went down into the engine.

“Carla grabbed a hold of the mamba’s body with her tongs, while I ran to my bakkie to grab my tongs,” Evans said.

He said they both worked together in unravelling and pulling the mamba out of the engine compartment.

“At one point I eventually had the tail in my hand, and we worked our tongs along towards the head,” Evans recalled. “Soon, we had the neck secured with the tongs, and Carla moved to secure the head with her hand.”

“It was a hefty snake, at least 2.5m long. It’s the girth of it that’s impressive, likely well-fed on young dassies.”

Evans said it was an exciting afternoon for them and Goede’s biggest mamba catch to date.

He added that the photograph of the snake did not do it justice.

“The homeowner’s gut feeling about it being in his Hilux was right. Thank you to them for calling!”

Evans added that the monitor lizard also received treatment.

A close-up of the black mamba. Picture: Nick Evans

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