Huge Black Mamba Appears Next to Snake Catcher's Face With Open Mouth

A snake catcher came face-to-face with an 8-foot long open-mouthed black mamba during a "hectic" rescue mission in South Africa.

Nick Evans, founder of snake rescue service KZN Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, had a "close call" with the serpent after being called to remove it from its hiding place in the ceiling of a building at Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, near Durban.

The black mamba, which is the biggest venomous snake in Africa, had settled in a small gap in the ceiling above some bathrooms.

A Facebook post written by African Wildlife Vets, which operates at the nature reserve, said that Evans went to remove the snake with the assistance of a vet, Rowan Leeming.

When Evans opened the trapdoor of the roof, he heard movement, although he could not see the black mamba. "Then, Rowan noticed the mamba's open mouth right next to Nick's head," the post said.

The snake then slithered away. African Wildlife Vets said it had been "a close call."

African Wildlife Vets posted photos of the snake after it had been captured.

Evans held up his phone to the trap door to film a video, to see if the coast was clear. The black mamba had vanished so he entered the ceiling, followed by Leeming.

Evans could not see the snake, but he noticed a hole in the wall leading to another space in the ceiling. He then had to crawl on a beam in order to find the snake. He finally spotted it in a small passageway, hiding under some fallen thatch.

As the black mamba then had nowhere to go, Evans "skillfully and safely" managed to capture it.

The snake was over 8ft long

African Wildlife Vets said the final challenge was to contain the highly venomous snake.

As his container did not fit through the hole in the wall, Evans had to crawl back through the hole, carrying the black mamba in his hand. Once through, with Leeming's help, he managed to contain it.

The snake was then released far from the building.

"It was definitely one of the most hectic mamba rescues I've ever done," Evans said in a Facebook post.

The black mamba is often considered one of the most dangerous snakes in the world. It possess a very potent venom that can be fatal to humans, however attacks are rare.

In another Facebook post, which can be found here, Evans said: "I have climbed down trees with mambas, up embankments, but I've never crawled with one. This was a challenging rescue to say the least! I have gone into many ceilings for mambas, never has one been right at the trapdoor!"

Black Mamba
A stock image shows a Black Mamba in a tree. Pieter Bester/Getty Images