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Black mambas ‘move in’ to roof of Queensburgh home

A resident told snake rescuer Nick Evans that the slithery “tenants” would leave the roof at around 9am using a nearby tree, and spend the day out, then return to the roof in the afternoon

Nick Evans holding the 2.5m-long black mamba that he rescued from a home in Queensburgh. Picture: Supplied by Nick Evans

Published Jun 28, 2022

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Durban - Local snake rescuer Nick Evans recently had a mamba encounter to remember when he went to Queensburgh to check out a home where he had been told that a pair of black mambas had “moved in” to the roof.

The resident told Evans that the slithery “tenants” would leave the roof at around 9am using a nearby tree, and spend the day out, then return to the roof in the afternoon.

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Evans said he believed the pair were a male and female as it is mating season.

He said he went to the house to look for the pair.

“About 15 minutes later, yellow-bellied greenbul and collared sun birds started alarm calling. We knew there was at least one snake, but couldn’t locate it.

“Then, about 30 minutes later, movement caught my eye at the top of the tallest tree. All of a sudden, two mambas emerged out of the thicket, at the top, in full combat mode! They were intertwined, wrestling, moving in the canopy at speed. I was in disbelief!”

Evans says this is common behaviour for black mambas at this time of year, where the males battle for a female.

He says they don’t kill each other, but wrestle each other until one gives up and moves off.

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He says one male was small, about 1.5 metres long, while the other was about 2.5m long.

“I couldn’t believe it. Every winter I hope to see this awesome behaviour. Usually, I have to rely on people calling me for it. This time, it broke out in front of me! I couldn’t believe my luck!”

Evans says he missed an opportunity to catch the two male snakes in the morning, and the female mamba who was believed to have been staying in the roof was also not seen.

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Later, in the afternoon, he managed to capture a large male snake at the home which he believes was the one he saw earlier in the day. He said the female and the smaller male had not been seen since.

THE MERCURY

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