Black Mamba Catch and Release, South Africa

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Black Mamba Catch and Release, South Africa

Postby Nick Evans » Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:07 pm

Hi all

Wasn't sure which sure which section to post this in so I went with Vacations :D

Yesterday I was called out to a town called Queensborugh, near Durban. The owners of the house had reported a large snake in their store room.

When I arrived, the gardener was standing at the entrance to the storeroom, keeping an eye on the snake. As I stepped in, I could just see a bit of the tail of a Black Mamba disappearing into a hole in the roof! If it wasn't for road works I probably would have got it before it went up! We could hear it moving around, it sounded big! Then the noise stopped.

Not sure knowing what to do, I said to the owner we may need to make a hole in the roof. He said "Go for it!", so I got a hammer and started smashing a hole in his roof! It wasn't working too well so I climbed up onto the roof, and started ripping off the tiles and cutting the plastic! I peered inside cautiously, and couldn't see anything.

Feeling puzzled as to it's whereabouts, I walked into the room again having a look around. The owner then said that the room is doubled-walled, and that there's storage space between the two walls! He showed me what was like a doorway to this space, but there was a big pile of random things in the way. I started clearing it with the gardener, and noticed there was a counter in the space, which I could stand on to look in the roof. No need! After moving a few things I saw the snakes tail!

The mamba was hiding in the corner, on this counter. I moved the last few objects and had a clear view. A cornered mamba is not a happy animal! With the aid of my grabstick/tongs, I safely secured the head and pulled it out. What an awesome feeling (You'll see how chuffed I am in the video). It was a female, measured out at 2,5 meters.

What was great was, the fact that the gardener, who usually fears and kills snakes, got willingly involved! He helped clear the room, filmed the capture, helped measure it and even had a pic taken with it!

Black Mambas really are just incredible snakes, so majestic and intelligent, yet extremely powerful!

Below are some pics...

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Me and Bongi, the gardener:
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The store room:
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The battered roof!
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Today I took the snake to a nearby nature reserve to release. It was a great experience, she was quite calm and relaxed. She wasn't too bothered by us taking photos and filming. Truly remarkable snakes!

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Had to get my hands on this snake, it was just too beautiful!

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Perfect Mamba habitat

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Here are two links to the videos of the capture, and the release, check it out:
https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1400762693572471
http://youtu.be/Jl-UkxiD5lw

Thanks for looking :)

For more interesting stories like this, about reptiles and even amphibians in South Africa, or any other sightings etc , please like my Facebook page, KwaZulu-Natal Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (https://www.facebook.com/zululandherps)
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country: Africa

Re: Black Mamba Catch and Release, South Africa

Postby Bobby Bok » Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:14 pm

Just watched your video on Facebook, what a magnificent animal! Glad to see it released into the wild!
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Re: Black Mamba Catch and Release, South Africa

Postby Rémon ter Harmsel » Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:41 pm

Awesome, thanks for sharing!
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Re: Black Mamba Catch and Release, South Africa

Postby Jürgen Gebhart » Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:31 pm

Good Job!
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Re: Black Mamba Catch and Release, South Africa

Postby Nick Evans » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:44 pm

Thanks guys! :mrgreen:
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Re: Black Mamba Catch and Release, South Africa

Postby Andre Schmid » Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:38 am

Very cool 8-)
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Re: Black Mamba Catch and Release, South Africa

Postby Manfred Gessner » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:48 am

Andre Schmid wrote:Very cool 8-)

really?
in my Opinion it's to hot. ;-)

regards Manni
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Re: Black Mamba Catch and Release, South Africa

Postby Berislav Horvatic » Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:29 pm

And we poor Europeans are so proud of bravely handling a viper...

In any case, regarding "too hot", I would say that in the second movie the (really!) brave
guy is much too close to the snake's head while taking photos... at least to my taste. Or
is it just the perspective? I wouldn't say so.
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Re: Black Mamba Catch and Release, South Africa

Postby Nick Evans » Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:18 am

Berislav Horvatic, the snake was relatively calm and not gaping much. I felt confident about how close I was. I was watching it's movements very carefully!
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country: Africa

Re: Black Mamba Catch and Release, South Africa

Postby Berislav Horvatic » Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:03 pm

Nick Evans wrote: ... the snake was relatively calm and not gaping much. I felt confident
about how close I was. I was watching it's movements very carefully!

Nick, I don't doubt your personal experience, knowledge, and care. You were confident, but
many of us would not have been, not with a snake like that.
Yesterday I made close-range photos of two adders (Vipera berus bosniensis) barehanded,
that is, without gloves. My estimate was that the snakes were relatively calm and that my
hands were still beyond the strike reach... The risk was not great, but there was some.
An AVERAGE snake of a certain species has certain abilities, and with enough experience one
knows their limits. But what if one day I happen to run into a world champion, instead of a
"normal" individual? In a case like that, I'd rather deal with a viper than with a mamba.
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