On Friday 12th April at around 16:45pm a local Clare Estate resident west of Durban sees a small grey snake which he thinks is a Black Mamba on his drive way.

The resident who had previously called me to assist with a few Mozambique Spitting Cobras from his yard in the past, called me shortly after as the snake moved from his drive way and under his car, over the phone he tells me the news anyone who catches snakes wants to hear:

…the snake lifted most of its body off the ground and went in near the gear box…

I left the point waterfront and made my way to Clare Estate in peak 5pm traffic on a Friday, which took me around 25minutes to reach him.
he points out that there is a large snake shed in the yard so we walk over and take a look – no mistake about this one a large Black Mamba shed. So clearly we’re in the right place or from his perspective the wrong place!

He then takes me over to the car with its hood popped up and then i realise it’s a scrap car with various cables, plastic bags, missing spark plugs and holy radiator – it’s been close on 30mins now this snake could be anywhere. I ask for for water which i start pouring into any openings and holes and theres no sight of the snake and there’s no way I’m poking my fingers amongst the tangled black and brown cables coming from the engine block this isn’t a TV show I casually say the guys.

After ten minutes or so we continue to pour water and then I see it, a minute Black Mamba poking it’s head out from one of the holes on the block. But now the problem is , I can’t see the body, nor can i get my small hook stick in to pull it out – now what?

As I continue to pour more water it shoots out and comes to rest below the the block between the gear box amongst the sea of cables and wires, only managing to see a small portion of the body I take a small pair of forceps and gentle grasp the section of the body – no movement from the snake and no gaping black mouth coming out to try and destroy whats busy poking it – great!

Then gentle pulling this minute Black Mamba out, I safely tubed it and measured it at 62,5cm a new born snake again!

Interesting enough as you can see this snake is much lighter than the one from the previous encounter, that even young Black Mambas can be dark black, grey, olive or brownish.

Not what you ever want to see in your engine.

Snake safely tubed to be measured.

As with the encounter two weeks prior which you can read here: Baby Black Mamba Kills Two Dogs – Home Owners Narrow Escape!

by Tyrone Ping

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