Big Black Mamba That Had Been Feasting on Kittens Found Inside Car

A black mamba that had been feasting on feral kittens has been found inside a car in South Africa.

Nick Evans, who owns a snake rescue business, was called to the Reservoir Hills in the Greater Durban area, where a black mamba had been spotted by a driver slithering across a road before it disappeared.

Black mambas are one of the world's deadliest snakes. Their potent venom can kill a human within 30 minutes, however, they usually only bite when provoked.

"The driver alerted the residents, who saw the mamba hiding in a space by their gate. It then went back out their driveway, crossed the road again, and dashed into another property," Evans said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

The mamba had been hiding in an engine after feasting on feral kittens.

Evans guessed from the snake's behavior that it had been "panicking and terrified."

When the snake catcher and his wife arrived at the scene, Evans said he spotted some feral cats, staring at something in a large patch of bush.

"I was having one of those days where everything was going wrong…So, I was not exactly in a positive mood. And when I saw this situation, I was certain, because of how my day was going, that the mamba was in the bush," Evans said. "However, the man who lives across the road, was adamant it was under [a] car."

Suddenly, Evans heard the black mamba slithering around.

As his wife looked under the bonnet of a nearby car, she spotted the black mamba hiding in the engine compartment.

Evans said it was a "magnificent beast." While it was not very long for the species, it was "extremely healthy."

"It has probably been kept well fed of the feral kittens. Black Mambas cannot resist kittens," he said.

Black mambas often slither into populated areas on the hunt for food. Feral kittens are one of their preferred meals, which they can smell from miles away. Mambas kill their prey with their venom and wait until it becomes paralyzed before swallowing it whole.

Black mamba and Kitten
Black mambas often feast on feral kittens in the Greater Durban area of South Africa. Snake rescuer Nick Evans had to battle to remove a black mamba from a car engine compartment on Tuesday. Nataliia Gats left) MarieHolding (right

The snake catcher opened the car bonnet with tongs, making sure not to use his fingers and risk being bitten.

"It was a big mamba! I grabbed the section in front of me with tongs, before it went deeper into the engine compartment," he said.

Evans said it ended up being a "wrestling match" between him and the "powerful snake."

He managed to use tongs to secure its neck and slowly ease it out of the engine.

"Again, I was shown how powerful it was. I didn't hold it out for too long, to show the neighborhood, as it kept resisting," the snake catcher said.

When Evans catches a snake, he always releases it back into the wild.

Black mambas are the longest snakes in Africa. This one measured around 8 feet, which is not very long for this species. These snakes can reach lengths of up to 14 feet, although this is rare.

Evans previously told Newsweek that the largest he has come across measured 13 feet.