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Mamba rescued from thatched roof at KZN game reserve after making some staff ’uneasy’

The female mamba found in the thatched roof. Picture: Nick Evans

The female mamba found in the thatched roof. Picture: Nick Evans

Published Sep 1, 2021

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DURBAN: Snake catcher Nick Evans had not rescued any black mambas in the past five weeks or so. That changed this week.

He had his hands full rescuing at least five of the highly venomous creatures from various places in and around Durban.

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One of the rescues was at the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve on the KZN North Coast where a female black mamba had been occupying a thatched roof at the Centenary Centre.

“As you can imagine, this made some staff quite uneasy to say the least.

“Mambas like roofs, because they're generally quite safe, and there's food. Usually it's rats, but I know at this location, there were a lot of bats roosting in the thatch.”

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Nick Evans with the female black mamba. Picture: Nick Evans

Evans said he was told the mamba would sprawl out over the beams and, if it felt threatened, slither through a gap in an adjacent wall and into a ceiling of an office.

He said it was there every day for a week until he arrived.

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“It wasn't the most difficult mamba rescue I've experienced, but it wasn't without challenges.

“What was interesting, is that it was ridden with ticks. I've only ever pulled off a few ticks off Durban mambas before. This snake had perhaps a dozen or so. Luckily, I had many hands to help me in pulling them off.”

Evans said the mamba was 2.2m and weighed 900g.

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“She needs to fatten up. Maybe she will now the ticks are gone.”

He said the snake was released in a safer place.

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