- Well-known Durban snake handler Nick Evans has turned to social media to detail his latest experience – an encounter with the venomous Black Mamba
- It all started after the snake whisperer got a call about a homeowner's Gardner who had seen the scaley creature invite itself into their garden
- Evans carefully detailed the climatic end to what he described as the end of an awful week following the unrest experienced in parts of KwaZulu-Natal
Their reputation is well-earned and Evans, who on his way to the mamba call from a frightened homeowner on a particularly fateful day last week, has taken to recounting the tale with glee.
Turning to Facebook to share his latest experience, Evans poured over his adrenalin-pumping encounter with an impressive level of intricacy.
"Towards the end of the awful week that we had last week, I had some joy in the form of a mamba call," Evans started.
"The homeowner initially called in the morning to report that her gardener had seen a Black Mamba in the garden. I get many, many calls just like this, although the snake seen by gardeners is often a harmless Herald or House Snake.
"So, as usual, I was sceptical. However, they lived on the border of Paradise Valley Nature Reserve, on the Dawncliffe (Westville) side, so it certainly was possible. Regardless, the snake had gone into some bushes, so I told her to call if he saw it again."
The snake handler said the homeowner phoned him back a few hours later, only this time, there were two snakes to report.
"They had to be Black Mambas, probably a pair of males fighting," Evans recalled. "I've been longing to see this all winter. I suppose it's like my winter's tradition, except I hadn't yet seen it this year. Remember, winter is mamba mating season.
"We raced over, and within minutes, we had already missed the action, to my dismay. The combat [had taken] place on an embankment in the garden, that was covered in thick bush."
According to Evans, one mamba went up into some trees while the other settled on an alien invasive shrub. It could see him. Describing the next few moments, the handler said the second snake moved from the shrubs and started moving towards some rocks.
"I dashed down the hill, although it was incredibly slippery, and so all I really did was slide down. Too slow, I missed it by a split second. It wasn't a giant, but it looked around 2.3m, 2.4m [in length].
"What's important to note, is that I chased the mamba, not the other way around. Out of curiosity, I walked under the trees to my left, to see if I could spot the other. I wasn't going to catch it.
"The trees were really a part of Paradise Valley, no need to grab it. Even if I wanted to, though, it would have been near impossible. The gardener started shouting, while I was making my way up the bank," added Evans.
Eventually, Evans said he climbed out the bushes and back onto the lawn. His wife, who was on hand to see him in action, then hinted at a spot in the bush where she had heard something.
"I turned, looked, and caught a glimpse of movement. It was the mamba! It flew out of the bushes and went sliding down the bank, with me in hot pursuit, again. As it went down in the rocks, I grabbed the tail with my tongs and pulled it to within hands reach.
"Once the tail was in my hand, I pulled it up further and got the tongs on the neck. I made sure I had a steady footing, before grabbing and securing the head with my hand," he said.
"This mamba was the female the boys were fighting for! Of course, I feel a bit bad for disturbing them, but they certainly weren't welcome, and I understand the homeowner's anxiety about hosting them.
"She has been relocated. I did wait a few days to see if I could catch at least one of the males to take with me. But she'll attract more for sure, and I'm sure those males will find another girlfriend."
Snake vs Goat: Evans rescues massive hungry python on Durban farm
Briefly News reported in February that Evans executed another great snake rescue in the Durban area.
And in his usual fashion, as he did, Evans took to Facebook to retell the tale of how he managed to capture the massive python that was attempting to kill and eat a goat on a nearby farm.
"On a farm in the Camperdown area, workers had heard a goat 'screaming' nearby. They went to investigate, and as they neared, they saw the goat's legs up in the air, out of the long grass, kicking," said Evans.
"They got closer and to their horror, saw a large python wrapped around the goat, constricting it! At first, they were terrified, but then they wanted to kill it and have it for dinner.
"They phoned the farm owner to ask what to do and to inform him of his loss. He then called me. At first, when I got the call, I thought maybe it was a prank. Or a tall story the farmworkers had come up with after finding a dead goat," he added.
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