Durban – IT IS mating time in the snake world, which means residents of certain areas are likely to come across black mamba males out looking for partners.
Between them, snake catchers Nick Evans and Jason Arnold have already rescued more than 20 mambas since the beginning of this month, and they have advised residents not to panic if they come across one.
Evans and Arnold said there had not been an increase in the number of black mambas in Durban, but the snakes were more active at this time because it was mating season.
“I’ve had quite a few rescues in the past couple of weeks,” Evans said. “I’ve had two calls about two males fighting. If people see two black mambas wrapped around each other in the open, those are two males wrestling for a female. That usually means there’s a female close by.”
He said people needed to be vigilant and to remember not to panic.
“If you see a black mamba on your property, keep calm. It doesn’t help to panic, and if you want it removed, call a snake catcher,” he said. “If you don’t want any rats, you can leave the mamba there. They do a very good job with rat control,” he said.
“The main thing is just leave him alone. Recently a man was bitten. He pinned down a black mamba with a rake. He tried catching it and got bitten,” he said.
Arnold said he had rescued at least 10 black mambas since the beginning of June.
“They (black mambas) are quite widespread. They are not in areas that are highly built up, but you are likely to get them anywhere that has natural bush, rivers, dams, natural streams and nature reserves,” he said.
Arnold said they were common in Kharwastan, Silverglen Nature Reserve, Reservoir Hills, Queensburgh, Northdene, Newlands West, Westville, Avoca Hills, Verulam, Umdloti, Mount Moreland, Tongaat and Hazlemere.
“If the snake is in the garden, then it is no danger to you at all, as long as you don’t corner it or throw things at it. Snakes are very scared of people. Generally they see you and disappear as quickly as they appeared,” he said.
Evans can be reached at 072 809 5806 and Arnold at 082 745 6375.