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Black mamba rescued in the parking lot of Westville office park

The shedding black mamba rearing up and opening its mouth as Evans tries to grab it with his tongs. Picture: Nick Evans

The shedding black mamba rearing up and opening its mouth as Evans tries to grab it with his tongs. Picture: Nick Evans

Published May 26, 2022

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Durban - A security guard first spotted the black mamba in a tree from three storeys above at an office park in Westville on Wednesday.

Snake rescuer Nick Evans said the mamba then moved from where it was basking in the sun on the tree, onto a retaining wall under the edge of the parking lot.

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“I saw it almost immediately, when I climbed down. Unfortunately, it was in the space between the top of the retaining wall and the concrete of the parking lot.

Black mamba rescued from the retaining wall of a parking lot at a Westville office park. Picture: Nick Evans

“It moved from left to right, and left to right again. I had such little space to work with,” he said.

Evans said the snake was also in the blue (shedding).

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“This affects a snake's vision, and they become more agitated, because they're more frightened,” he said.

The shedding black mamba rearing up and opening its mouth as Evans tries to grab it with his tongs. Picture: Nick Evans

He further explained that there are some occasions during rescues when he gets scared.

“Today was one of those occasions. The mamba didn't have anywhere to go, and I could see it panicking. I was standing on the retaining wall. There were a few holes it could come out of, and I was worried it might try dash out to freedom with me annoying it, and bump into me!

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“Thankfully, it tucked itself in behind some concrete, and I could see it wasn't going anywhere.

“I had to break that concrete to get the mamba out. I stood there for a little while, hammering away, getting covered in dust from the concrete, and having bits of it bouncing off me,” he said.

Evans eventually managed to create a space big enough to get to the snake.

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“The mamba was in a position where I could grab it. I hooked it towards the entrance, and grabbed it with the tongs. It raised up, and opened its mouth, infuriated at me, bugging it!” Evans said.

While in the process of shedding, Evans said snakes are slippery, and although he did not have a good grip on the mamba, he managed to pin it down and get it into a bucket.

“Thank you to everyone there who helped, either by watching that it didn't come out, or passing me my gear,” he said.

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