Durban’s snake man, Nick Evans, caught a black mamba from a property in Glenwood last week, reports Berea Mail.
Nick said there hadn’t been many calls recently due to the cold weather and rain, however, as the sun popped out this week, so did the snakes!
“I received a call from a rather worried man in Malcolm Road, near UKZN Howard campus. He said that there was a very huge snake in the bushes in his garden. He said it was black in colour and longer than a broom,” said Nick.
Nick said that when he arrived and the caller’s wife pointed to where the snake was, he wasn’t full of enthusiasm. Cutting between their property and the neighbouring house was a dense patch of bush. At the base of it was old garden refuse – not stable ground to put a ladder.
“I had to go upstairs into the house, to look through a window to get an idea of where the snake was. It was near the top of a Strelitzia. It definitely was a black mamba. I said to them that there was a good chance that I was not going to capture this snake. If we lost sight of it, we’d unlikely see it again in the thicket,” he said.
When Nick went to the next door property to see what his options were from that side, he was able to prop a ladder up against a flimsy tree. However, when he climbed up he couldn’t see anything.
“The caller came running to me and told me he had a pole that would reach, and it did seem long enough. I reached up with it, hoping to chase the mamba to my left, into a tree I could actually climb. I tapped the mamba gently, and it slowly moved downwards – not really what I wanted!” said Nick.
He then cautiously walked into the dense garden hoping he could disturb the snake into moving, but saw nothing.
“It looked like it was all over for us. My only hope was that it would stick to this patch of bush that ran between the properties and find an escape route into a nearby greenbelt without encountering dogs or people. Just as I was giving up and was walking out of the bushes, the homeowner on the other side shouted that they could see it. The mamba, oddly enough, was slithering right back to where it had initially been,” said Nick.
With the mamba slowly moving up into the Strelitzia, Nick knew he didn’t have much time and grabbed the long pole.
“I reached up slowly and got the net under the mamba’s mid-body. I pulled back gently, and saw I had it sitting nicely on the pole! I quickly brought it over and above me, and lowered the pole onto the ground. The mamba didn’t make any attempt to flee thankfully, and I got the tongs on it and secured the head,” said Nick.
Nick said it was a small black mamba, still a youngster, under the two-metre mark. He said he would microchip it, collect DNA, and set it free again.
If you wish to donate to his work which is done mostly on a free or donation basis, visit: https://bit.ly/2UtYz1S.