- A 2.2 metre black mamba was startled into hiding in a car when people spotted it in Durban CBD over the weekend
- The car had to be towed to its drivers' home where snake expert, Jason Arnold rescued it from the bonnet
- The snake was released into the bush far from human habitation
When pedestrians spotted a 2.2 metre long black mamba at the corner of Dr Yusuf Dadoo (Broad) Street and Dr Pixley KaSeme (West) Street, over the weekend, there was panic and chaos.
A driver was parked in his car, waiting for his wife to get off work when he heard people screaming and shouting. He looked to see what the cause of the commotion was, and saw the snake underneath the overhang of the building.
Startled by bystanders who started throwing things at it trying to kill it, the snake slithered under his car.
Snake expert, Jason Arnold, from Universal Reptiles was called to assist, Briefly.co.za learned.
“The driver saw it go under his car but was scared to get out of the car in case it came out the other side. People surrounding his car told him it hadn’t come out, so he closed his windows so the snake wouldn’t get in. Then he got out of the car,” Arnold said.
Arnold said he received numerous calls and on arrival found a large crowd.
“There were hundreds of spectators," he said. "We had to bring the police in to cordon off the area, closing off one lane, because I was scared that when I started searching for the snake and it no longer felt safe in the car it would dart out into the crowd.”
However, a thorough search of the car yielded no results.
“I even stuck my head under the car but there was no sign of it.”
Arnold realised that the only way to find the snake was to go to a quieter place where it might feel safe and come out. The car was then towed to the owner’s home in Newlands West.
“We weren’t there for five minutes when I opened the bonnet [and] there it was," Arnold said. "It must have been disturbed by the wind, as it had made its way into the engine compartment."
Under the bonnet, the snake was coiled around the cables.
“The snake was obviously scared and didn’t want to come out, it wanted to stay where it felt safe,” he said. Although it took some coaxing to untangle the snake, Arnold was able to remove it safely, much to the vehicle owner’s relief.
Arnold believes the snake may have been brought into town in another car, unbeknownst to the driver.
“I can only assume that at some point the snake sought shelter or a warm place in someone else’s car. Snakes can do that and stay in the car when it’s moving for hours and only get out when it stops.”
With the snake coiled around his arm, Arnold said it looked to be about three years old or younger but was already more than two metres long.
After bagging it, he took it home for the night before releasing it yesterday in a bushy natural area far from human habitation.
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