Snake catcher describes removing 5 black mambas from Durban home

KwaZulu-Natal snake catcher Nick Evans explains to Kieno Kammies how he ended up being called out five times to the same home in Durban over a short period of time to remove the snakes.

Evans is the founder of KZN Amphibian and Reptile Conservation.

Evans is doing a research project for the University of KZN and takes DNA from every mamba he catches and in fact, microchips them all, the same ID chips used for dogs and cats, he explains.

It started on a Sunday afternoon when my wife and I were called for two male black mambas fighting. It is quite common behaviour at this time of year over a female.

Nick Evans, Founder - KZN Amphibian and Reptile Conservation and snake catcher

He explains how the female snake leaves a scent trail behind during mamba mating season and the males pick this up with their fork tongues. If two males are in close proximity to this, they will fight.

They wrestle. They don't fight to the death but it is like a wrestling match until one gives up.

Nick Evans, Founder - KZN Amphibian and Reptile Conservation and snake catcher

But by the time the snake catchers arrived at the house the snakes had retreated into a large pile of logs and garden refuse.

They caught one big Mamba at that time.

The residents then burned the rubbish and second Mamba shot out of the pile.

The following day he was called to say there was yet another male despite the burning, clearly still managing to smell the female's scent.

We would go every day and try and catch it but it would go up into the corner and sniff around and then disappear back down to the bush at the bottom of the garden.

Nick Evans, Founder - KZN Amphibian and Reptile Conservation and snake catcher

Finally, they found it staring at them behind two walls.

As soon as we got home they phoned to say there was yet another mamba and we raced over.

Nick Evans, Founder - KZN Amphibian and Reptile Conservation and snake catcher

The snake was inaccessible behind a wall.

Evans says after some rain later, he believes it washed away the female scent.

They haven't been seen again.

Nick Evans, Founder - KZN Amphibian and Reptile Conservation and snake catcher

He says he has never encountered this many in one home.

And as for dealing with these dangerous reptiles?

It's very exciting, it gets the adrenalin going.

Nick Evans, Founder - KZN Amphibian and Reptile Conservation and snake catcher

The longest mamba he caught on the property was 2.4 metres.

Listen to Nick Evans relating this remarkable story below:

Watch the video below:


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