Black Mamba Found Lurking in Dark Between Walls of Home

A black mamba was found lurking in the darkness between the walls of a South African home.

Nick Evans—a snake catcher and rescuer based in Greater Durban—said on Facebook that a gardener living in Reservoir Hills heard something move between the walls of a storeroom. He then spotted the highly venomous snake lurking right next to him, in the darkness.

"No, it did not bite him. It had the opportunity to, but didn't. It got as much of a fright as he did! He bolted out the room, as anyone would do," Evans said on Facebook. "There were no lights in the rooms, and it was now dark outside as well."

Black mambas are the longest venomous snakes in Africa. They can grow up to 14 feet long in some cases, and their bite has a fatality rate of 100 percent if left untreated.

Despite their fearsome reputation, they will usually hide rather than attack. Bites are relatively rare in Greater Durban and only occur when the snakes feel threatened or provoked.

Evans arrived to remove the snake and noticed: "There were a lot of places for the mamba to hide."

Luckily, the snake catcher didn't have to see in the darkness in order to locate the mamba, as he heard movement from above.

"The mamba was in the roof! And it was active! It made so much noise that I thought/hoped there were two," Evans said. "The snake was on the ceiling board, between that and the corrugated iron above. There was no access for me. The only thing to do, was break the ceiling board. No one had an issue with that, and so I started."

The snake catcher set to work breaking holes in the ceiling, doing his best not to startle the mamba. Suddenly, the noises stopped, giving the snake catcher no indication as to where it was lurking.

"I had a family member in the next room, as well as the gardener, who both were willing to help. We were all a little concerned as to where this snake might be," Evans said.

However when he peered into the wall he spotted the black mamba hiding inside.

"I broke a hole in the wall to get at it. I got the tail, the rest of the body was going up into the wall somewhere," he said. "I kept breaking the wall, carefully, obviously trying not to hurt the snake. Then, I heard my two assistants say they could see the head. I looked to my right, and there was the head, at the doorway, coming out the wall. I didn't expect that."

While still holding the tail with his left hand, Evans tried to secure the mamba behind the head, with his tongs in his right hand.

"When I felt I had a decent grip, I released the tail, and got my left hand on the head, securing it. The rest of the mamba came out then," he said. "I was very, very relieved. That was a hectic rescue!"

As this mamba was a female, Evans warned the homeowners of the chance that other male snakes may come visiting.

This is because it's currently the snakes' mating season in South Africa. Male black mambas can smell females from miles away, and will often be lured to an area by the scent.

Evans said he didn't think any of the homeowners would be going into that room for a while.

Black mamba
A file photo of a black mamba. One was found lurking in the dark at a home in South Africa. reptiles4all