Nick Evans, the owner of KwaZulu-Natal Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, shared information on a recent case that occurred on the eve of the Easter weekend. He received a frantic call from a frightened family who complained about a 2.2m black mamba occupying their house in Ndwedwe, in rural KwaZulu-Natal.
In an interview later, Nick Evans called this rescue the most challenging and thrilling of the year so far.
“It took nearly two hours to locate the snake in the roof of the rondavel, cutting holes in the plastic tarp that covered the roof as they went along. You can hear it moving around. It’s such a specific intimidating sound,” Evans explained. “For a start, it was a very long drive. Then we had to try and find it in the ceiling. And I had to stand on [a] not so stable ladder. Some of the steps were broken.”
A home owner then said that at one point during the rescue Nick fell from the ladder, when the mamba’s tail suddenly popped from the roof.
“I fell back, I was next to a chest freezer and I landed on that. It gave me a fright,” he confessed. “When I was pulling it out, there was a moment where it just started reversing very quickly. Too quickly.”
There was a moment, he said, when the snake could easily have taken a swipe at his hand or face.
The mamba was set free in a valley, not too far from the rescue site, where “it shouldn’t bump into people again”.