Snake catcher Jason Arnold at Glenashley Beach with a huge black mamba that beached after struggling against the waves. Picture: Supplied.
Snake catcher Jason Arnold at Glenashley Beach with a huge black mamba that beached after struggling against the waves. Picture: Supplied.

No mouth to mouth for 2.3m black mamba making waves

By Duncan Guy Time of article published Apr 10, 2021

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Durban - A 2.3m black mamba snake catcher Jason Arnold rescued after it came out of the sea at Glenashley Beach should return to the wild in a day or two after being monitored in captivity.

“I am concerned about it having sand in its lungs,” he told the Independent on Saturday.

“There is high sand content in seawater.”

Arnold said it was fortunate that the snake had been bobbing in the waves off a fishing beach rather than off a surfing beach this week.

“Surfers waiting to catch a wave could find themselves in danger if one is near them. The snake might see their boards as something they could get on to. It wouldn’t be unbelievable for a snake to want to get on to one for safety.

“And it would be panicking and, therefore, more inclined to want to bite”.

He said snakes are good swimmers but waves would exhaust one as it tried to keep its head above the water.

“They can be in danger of drowning when they are tired from being pulled back and forth by the current.”

Arnold said he believed the snake would have entered the sea through a storm water drain not far from where it was first spotted by a fisherman who contacted him.

He said it was the first snake he had caught on the beach that was not a sea snake.

“Even they only wash up when there is a problem. They stay further out. To see any snake in the surf is very unusual.”

He added that the mamba appeared to be doing well after its adventure on Thursday and the water it had in its lungs appeared to be out.

Did he ever consider offering the deadly serpent mouth-to-mouth resuscitation after its near drowning experience?

“I think not,” he quipped.

The Independent on Saturday

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