Four Large Black Mambas Caught by Snake Catcher in One Day

A snake catcher in South Africa picked up four black mambas in one day, with one measuring over 8.5 feet. Snake rescuer Nick Evans, founder of KZN Amphibian & Reptile Conservation, said this was the most black mambas he had ever caught in a single day.

The black mamba is an extremely venomous species of snake. Untreated, its venom is fatal to humans. Ryan Blumenthal, a senior specialist forensic pathologist and associate professor in the Department of Forensic Medicine at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, says the species is probably responsible for the most snake bite-related deaths in southern Africa.

Black mambas are normally shy and avoid humans, but they can be highly aggressive if they feel threatened.

Evans said the first call was from someone who had spotted a black mamba at the side of a road. When he and his friend Nick Saunders arrived, it was trying to get down a hole. The pair managed to pull it out only to discover it was heavily pregnant. Evans said he believes she was entering the roadside hole to lay her eggs. He said she will be released after she lays her eggs. Once the eggs hatch, the baby black mambas will also be set free.

Shortly after this rescue, Evans was called by a security company whose client had reported a snake slithering up a driveway. When he got there, he found the black mamba had slithered under a shipping container. He walked around scanning for the snake when he spotted it among some bricks.

As he approached, the black mamba spotted him and bolted. "I managed to grab the tail just in time, and soon enough, the head," Evans said. "This snake was immense! Once I had it safely secured, I thought it could be close to, if not three meters.

"I've only ever captured one three meter [9.8ft] snake before ... It was a female, weighing nearly 3kg [6.6lbs], measuring out at just over 2.6m [8.5ft] in length. It was extremely difficult holding her down. I have never struggled to hold a mamba down like I did this one. Immense beast!"

Evans was then called by a homeowner who said there was a snake on her driveway. A photo sent to the snake catcher confirmed it was yet another black mamba. The snake was not moving when he arrived and he worried it could potentially be injured or dead.

"As I neared the snake, I noticed its eye was faulty," Evans said in the Facebook post.

"It looked dead. Had it been dead a while? It was confusing. Well, I was right next to it, and grabbed it with my tongs. Then, and only then, did it burst into action! It didn't put up a big fight really. It didn't look in great condition at all, although it had just eaten what I presume is a young dassie, a much needed meal for this snake. With one eye, it's clearly been struggling to catch its fast prey."

The homeowner asked Evans if he could check a skin found in her garden. A large snake had recently been spotted there. "I couldn't see a skin. What I could see was a big Black Mamba! I was astonished! I grabbed the caller, who had just started to run away, and told her to watch, as I [went] down to try and catch it."

Evans said the black mamba was curled up and basking. He said it was a large, strong mamba and was "desperately trying to get away." However, Evans managed to catch it and found it was a male measuring 8.2 feet.

He said it was possible this snake had been mating with the female from the driveway, although with her poor health condition he said it is unlikely she had laid any eggs.

"This was one of the most amazing calls I've had. It was my lucky day," he said.

black mamba
Stock photo of a black mamba. Snake catcher Nick Evans said it was his "lucky day" when he caught four black mambas in one day. Getty Images