Durban - It’s not often you find one of the world’s most dangerous snakes on the local beach - but that’s exactly what happened at Scottburgh beach this week.
A 2.8m black mamba was sighted near Scottburgh’s main beach, in front of the Cutty Sark Hotel on Thursday evening.
A local teenager stumbled upon the reptile, and then Owen and Nadi Kuyper, who were going for an evening swim, alerted Crocworld Conservation Centre’s manager Martin Rodrigues, an expert herpetologist.
The video of the encounter between the mamba and Rodrigues was caught on camera by the Kuypers.
Watch the video here https://www.facebook.com/CrocworldConservationCentre/videos/2011262158915252/
Rodrigues said that it was possible that due to the extremely hot weather, the snake was cooling down on the shore or having a drink of salty water, and it may have been tired or caught up in the waves.
According to Rodrigues, it was the first time that he has seen a Black Mamba captured on a beach.
“When I tried to catch the snake, I noticed a lot of water coming out of its mouth so it may have swallowed quite a bit of sea water,” said Rodrigues.
He managed to capture the reptile while it tried to scramble out of his grasp, but it was finally secured into a container.
Once the snake was safely captured, it was taken back to Crocworld Conservation Centre, where it was measured, examined and released back into a safe habitat earlier today.
“Snakes are in our vicinity most of the time but human encounters with snakes are few and far between,” said Rodrigues.
“It is important not to panic if you encounter a snake. Be vigilant and observant of your surroundings,” he advised.
Rodrigues added that most often people get bitten if they tried to catch or kill snakes. “Don’t approach snakes. Keep a safe distance of about 5 metres, and call your local snake park or a professional snake catcher for assistance,” he said.