The past few days have been eventful for snake rescuer Nick Evans, who caught at least five black mambas – four of these on the same day.
On Thursday, Evans was called to an informal settlement in Welbedacht, after a black mamba was found between a mattress and a bed base.
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“Yes, a strange, unpleasant place for a snake to be,” said the snake rescuer.
The snake was discovered while the family was cleaning the room and decided to lift the mattress.
“There were wooden beams placed between the mattress and the base, for extra support. This created a space between the two, a space big enough for rats to get in, and in turn, a black mamba,” he said.
On arrival, one community member offered to lift the mattress for him using a long piece of wood. This way, he was able to use both hands to catch the snake.
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On Saturday, Evans responded to four black mamba calls around Westville North.
The first mamba had entered an open kitchen window and was spotted by one of the dogs at the property, which alerted its family.
The 2.2-metre male mamba was caught behind a dishwasher.
The second mamba, in a different property, was also caught in the kitchen behind a fridge, “and did not make for an easy catch like the first mamba”.
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Also around the 2-metre mark, it was eventually pulled from behind the fridge and placed in a bucket.
The third mamba was caught on a garage roof between roof tiles and was removed through one of the holes in the plastic.
The fourth mamba, however, managed to slip away.
According to the City of Ekurhuleni, snakes come out of hibernation in search of food during this period of the year until May after a long period of hibernation.
The City cautioned pet owners to be on high alert and to watch their pets as they may fall prey to the snakes.
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“While the community is cautioned to be vigilant against harmful snakes, there are also snakes that are harmless to humans, such as the brown house snake, Arora house snake, olive house snake, and red-lipped snake that are likely to be found in backyard gardens searching for food like rodents,” it said.