DURBAN - After weeks of what local snake rescuer Nick Evans calls the “mamba drought” he was called out to catch three black mambas on Sunday in Durban.
Evans received the first mamba call at around 12pm from a man in Inanda.
On arrival, a few men pointed him in the direction of a house.
“As I opened the door, the mamba was lying across the floor, right in front of me,” he said.
Evans said he tried to grab the mamba but it slithered across the floor to escape.
“It wriggled across the room before I pinned it down. Perhaps I was rusty after the mamba drought,” joked Evans.
He measured the mamba at 2.2m and described it as slightly underweight, with lots of ticks.
Evans was then called to a friend’s home in Westville for the second black mamba rescue of the day.
The snake was in a difficult spot at the top of a small palm tree on the edge of a bushy slope.
He said it was curled up digesting a young dassie.
“I had to use two tongs to get the mamba, but it kept wrapping its tail around the palm, trying to escape the scary threat, me. Eventually, I managed to hold the head end with one hand, and the tail with the other, and got it out,” said Evans.
As the day grew longer, so did the size of the mambas.
In the third and final mamba rescue of the day, Evans was called out to Westville North.
He said a mamba had been seen moving under an old freezer that was no longer in use.
Evans said the mamba was eventually found in what he described as an interesting place inside an opening at the bottom of the freezer around the compressor.
“I tried grabbing the body through the biggest gap available, with the tongs, but of course, the mamba didn't like that. It started getting agitated, moving around a lot,” he said.
In a second attempt, after the mamba poked its head out, he was able to gently clamp it down with the tongs.
“It lunged itself forward in a panic, but I held on firmly, but again, as gently as possible,” he said.
Evans said once the tongs were in a stable position, he reached for the head with his hand.
“This mamba had a big head. The body was big too,” he said.
He said the well-fed mamba measured 2.5m.