Pregnant Black Mamba Nesting Near Family Home Rescued by Snake Catcher

A pregnant black mamba was caught by a snake catcher in South Africa after it tried to nest under a pathway near the front door of a family home.

Nick Evans, snake rescuer and founder of KZN Amphibian & Reptile Conservation, wrote about the encounter in a Facebook post. He said that over the weekend of October 30/31, he captured four black mambas. The largest one was a pregnant female measuring 8 feet in length.

He was called to a property in the KwaZulu-Natal province after a family noticed a large black mamba going under the paving of a walkway near a front door. The snake's presence made them feel uncomfortable.

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"When I arrived, and shone my torch under there, I immediately saw the very end of the mamba's tail disappearing, going deeper into the space below the concrete," he wrote. "Then, the head popped out, and gave me a cheeky look."

The black mamba is a highly venomous species of snake that can be extremely aggressive if threatened. If untreated, a black mamba snake bite is almost always fatal. The species can grow to around 14 feet. They are the fastest land snake in the world, clocking speeds of up to 12 mph.

Evans said that in order to catch the pregnant black mamba, he had to smash the concrete of the walkway to get to it. "The more I broke, the more concerned I became," he said. "I was worried I had buried it, and potentially hurt it. I was digging sand and concrete away, but couldn't really see any sign of a cavity that I had initially seen."

Evans started digging until he came across a cavity. He then spotted the black mamba and realized it could not go any further down, so was cornered. "I broke away some concrete, and dug away some sand, to give me a clear gap to grab it with the tongs.

"I managed to grab her head-end, and pulled her out gently, just enough so I could grab it with my hand, and I had it. The rest of the body came swinging out. She's a big mamba! Not extraordinarily long, at 2.5m, but the girth is impressive! She's definitely got eggs in her, which I suspected. I think she had chosen this site as her laying spot."

Evans said he believes this female black mamba was involved in a "wrestling match" between two male mambas that took place in the region in August. "One, or maybe even both, probably fathered this clutch," he said. "I know the family is very relieved, and so am I! I thought it may be a matter of time before the dog got hold of the snake, and then vice versa."

black mamba
Stock photo of a black mamba. Snake catcher Nick Evans caught a pregnant, 8-foot mamba that had been spotted near a family's property. Getty Images