DURBAN - Local snake expert Nick Evans said he was patiently waiting for his first black mamba call for 2022 after a slow start to the year with the rescue of boomslang and a vine snake earlier this week.
Finally the first black mamba call came from the Bellair area on Wednesday.
Evans said the homeowner’s dogs alerted them to the snake that was in the garden.
“It climbed up and over a short wall, and just on the other side of the wall, in a vacant property, was a barrel, filled with wood and a lot of plastic.”
He said while he could not see the mamba, he started pulling out the rotten wood and plastic from the drum.
“Then, at one tug of the plastic, I suddenly saw the mamba, shooting out towards me! I stood up, and like me, it got a fright, so it turned back in,” said Evans.
Evans said he could only see the snake properly once the last piece of plastic was out and he eventually managed to get a hold of the snake.
The day got even better after Evans then had a call for his first Mozambique spitting cobra rescue of the year, in Queensburgh.
“A tricky catch, where the homeowner, with his tongs, did most of the hard work. A 1.2m specimen.
“After the first few days of the year being nothing but bush snakes, today [Tuesday] has been good,” said Evans.
On Monday, Evans was called out to Adams Mission for two boomslangs
“We're coming up to mating season, where males can be seen wrestling for females. They described these snakes to be moving a lot, I presumed that was combat. I've only recorded combat in early February, but a friend has recorded it in mid January,” he said.
“The first one wasn't too difficult to catch. It was lying on top of a granadilla creeper, growing over a hedge between two homes. I pulled it out with the tongs and pinned it down as a crowd gathered around me,” said Evans.
On Monday evening, Evans was called out to a home in Westville, on a road off Devon Terrace, where several other snakes had been caught, for a vine snake slithering around a garage.
“When I arrived, it was slowly crossing the driveway, although once I arrived it froze until I scooped it up,”said Evans.
Evans added that both the boomslang and the vine snake are highly venomous.
“We've got two highly venomous snakes, that are back-fanged, in the region. Both with a potent haemotoxic venom,” he said.
According to sciencedirect.com, haemotoxic venom damages the circulatory system and muscle tissue and causes swelling, haemorrhage and necrosis (tissue death).