Kittens Rescued After 8.5ft Black Mamba Tried to Eat Them

A snake catcher rescued a litter of kittens in South Africa when a more than 8-foot-long black mamba slithered into a house, enticed by their smell.

Black mambas – a highly venomous snake native to southern Africa – feast on kittens and small rodents. Their bite can kill a human within half an hour if left untreated.

Jason Arnold, a snake catcher working in the greater Durban area, arrived at the property to remove the huge snake, measuring about 8 feet 6 inches, that had been lurking in a gutter.

A video of the catch, which can be seen here, shows the snake catcher entering the property armed with a flashlight and a bag. He enters the property to find the snake hiding in a particularly dark corner, down a gutter.

A video of the catch shows the snake catcher wrangling with the huge snake

"Hello dude, what are you doing in the people's gutter?" Arnold says to the snake.

The homeowners point Arnold to a box of kittens, which are also in the room and nursing from their mother.

The snake catcher said it was "amazing" that the mamba had not eaten them.

"If you live in an area where there are mambas and you have kittens, you are guaranteed to get a mamba, they can smell these things," Arnold said in the video.

The snake catcher then begins stroking the cats.

"Hello kitties, you're lucky," the snake catcher said. "You guys are so lucky the mamba didn't find you, you would have all been eaten up."

The box of kittens were in the same room as the black mamba, and were lucky to be alive JASON ARNOLD - SNAKE HANDLER

Arnold realises he will have to break into the gutter to get the highly venomous snake out of its hiding place and away from the kittens. He gets a ladder and reaches inside the gutter, where the black mamba is lurking, with a pair of tongs.

He managed to grab the black mamba's tail, however, the rest of the body was still entangled in the gutter. Other residents of the village began peering in the window to watch the snake catcher at work.

Arnold began trying to grab the snake's head—crucial to avoid a bite. He finally managed to secure the head with his hand, however, the snake still appeared reluctant to emerge from its dark corner. After a bit more gentle pulling, the snake finally began to loosen its grip on the gutter.

"I don't want to hurt him so I am just waiting for him to get tired and then release his tail," Arnold said.

Black mamba
The snake catcher finally released the black mamba and measured it, finding it to be 8.5 feet JASON ARNOLD - SNAKE HANDLER

As the snake begins to ease itself down, its size becomes fully visible.

"He's a big, big mamba," Arnold says.

Black mambas are the longest snake in Africa. They can reach lengths of up to 14 feet, however, their average length is around 8 feet.

Eventually, the snake catcher has to stand on a chair to ease the snake's tail out of the gutter. In a hair-raising moment, the snake then begins to coil itself around the snake catcher's arm

"They are so so strong," Arnold says, as he continues to wrangle with it. The mamba can be heard hissing loudly as the snake catcher continues to ease it down.

The massive snake finally releases itself from its hiding place, and Arnold carefully secures it inside a bag, ready to be released back into the wild.

Black mambas are widely feared. However they are a shy and reclusive species. Despite their deadly bite, their first instinct is usually to hide from people, rather than to attack. It is not uncommon for them to slither into properties to find dark corners to hide in, especially when they smell prey, such as kittens.