Durban: It was the cat of a Reservoir Hills homeowner that alerted them to the possibility of a black mamba hiding under a pile of logs in the yard.
Durban snake rescuer Nick Evans said the home in Palmiet Road had many sightings of black mambas.
“I have been to the home a few times for mambas, although I've never caught one.
“They either go under a large patio, with thick concrete and a wide surface area, or they go back down into the bush, along the Palmiet River.
“This time, the homeowner noticed his cat following one along the wall. It didn't try and swipe at it or anything, it knew better than that. It was too big for the mamba to eat, so it wasn't interested.
“The cat followed the mamba until it went into a massive wood pile.”
Evans said the wood was recently wood was from recently chopped Syringa trees, which was used for firewood.
Evans said that catching the black mamba was no easy feat.
“The log pile stretched across the wall for a good ten meters or so. I started where the snake was last seen. After moving a good few logs, there was no sign of the snake.
“I started moving logs further down, at the end of the pile and still no sign of the snake.
“Then I moved about three logs, when I suddenly heard the eery, drawn out hiss of a black mamba. It's so distinctive, and I won't lie, even makes me a bit scared, especially when I can't see the snake.
“I moved more logs, carefully, before being almost out of logs to move. It was so frustrating and confusing. But right at the bottom, were a few sticks, really, and I saw a portion of the body under them.
“As soon as I started moving the logs around them, the snake began to move, and suddenly darted off to my left, under the logs. It wasn't a huge snake, about 2.1m, and the smaller mambas are faster and more fesity. With many logs in the way, it was a bit of a hazardous situation.
“Eventually, I managed to get the tail, and got it in my hands. I searched for the head, among the logs. It eventually showed itself, and I grabbed it with the tongs. Once I gently lifted it out, I released the tail, and grabbed the head with my hands.”