A man came face to face with a deadly black mamba while working on a project in his home in South Africa.
The resident from Westville reached his hand behind a bucket, which was propped on a shelf outside as he fixed a wire, snake catcher Nick Evans said in a Facebook post.
But as he did so, a black mamba’s head emerged and opened its mouth at the man, “dangerously close to his hand.”
“The homeowner knew it was a Black Mamba immediately, and fortunately, avoided disaster,” Evans, who owns a snake removal and rescue service in the area said.
Black mambas are a venomous species of snake native to southern Africa. Their bite has a fatality rate of 100 percent if left untreated. The snakes are also extremely fast, able to slither at speeds of 12 miles per hour.
Evans arrived at the property to remove the snake from the area.
“It wasn’t too difficult a catch, although it was a fairly feisty mamba,” the snake catcher said on Facebook.
This black mamba was over 6 feet long, which is fairly small for the species. The snakes are some of the longest snakes in Africa. They reach around 7 feet long on average but have been known to exceed this size in rare cases.
“I couldn’t believe how close the homeowner had come to being bitten,” Evans said on Facebook. “It was, though, yet another good example of how mambas aren’t these vicious, blood-thirsty monsters. If it wanted to bite him, it very easily could have. Instead, it gave him a warning to back off, and that was that.”
Although black mambas are incredibly venomous, they will only bite a person if directly provoked or threatened. The species tends to be shy and reclusive, meaning the snakes prefer to slither away from a would-be victim rather than attack.
“A good story to be told at the bar for [the] future,” Evans added in his post.
Evans uses his social media presence to educate people on the species. Sometimes, residents will try to kill the dangerous snakes, but Evans insists this makes the situation worse. If anything, this provokes the snake into attacking.
The snake season in South Africa, which lasts from September to March, is just starting. This is when the weather begins to warm, and cold-blooded reptiles start emerging and becoming more active.
During the snake season, it is not uncommon for residents to find the venomous snake species slithering around their homes. Often, the snakes will be found in garages, outdoor sheds, or roofs when seeking shelter from the sun.
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