KZN snake catcher bags monster black mambaNovember 16, 2022
It has been a busy week for KwaZulu-Natal snake catcher Sarel van der Merwe, who darted around the south coast to bag black and green mambas.
Waiting for more than three months to catch his biggest black mamba to date, Van der Merwe said the snake had his blood pumping when he finally caught it on a property in Gamalakhe.
Snake city in Gamalakhe
“As I was looking in the storeroom, the mamba came in from the roof and went to hide in a corner. The storeroom was suddenly too small for the snake, me and my grab stick, so I fell backwards,” he joked in a social media post.
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The snake nearly sneaked past van der Merwe, but quick thinking and fast hands saw him catch it – much to the relief of concerned family members.
This was just one of two black mambas caught by Van der Merwe in Gamalakhe. The second was removed from a grapevine.
“It appears that you buy a house and get a black mamba for free in Gamalakhe,” he told South Coast Herald.
Van der Merwe also received callouts for a green mamba hiding on a dish rack at a home in Sea Park, another on the curtain rail of a bedroom in Pumula, and a third on a calabash farm.
Later on Tuesday, he was called to a complex in Shelly Beach for another green mamba, as well as a callout to Umzumbe, where a green mamba was found lurking behind a kitchen cabinet.
Keep your property clean
One takeaway from the busy snake season from the seasoned catcher: “Guys, please keep your place clean so that you don’t get rats… [that] calls for snakes.”
Keeping one’s property free of piles of wood and rubble also minimises the risk of snakes lurking.
Snake season in South Africa starts in September. Many slithery serpents call the greater Durban area home.
Black and green mambas are highly venomous. Black mambas average between 2.2m and 2.5m in length. They are grey/brown in colour, and contrary to popular belief, are quite shy and nervous.
Green mambas grow to be as big as 2m long and are elusive. But do not let this fool you. Trying to catch either of these snakes without professional help will land you in hospital.
Always reach out to your local snake catcher if you need help removing a snake. Snakes are more scared of you and would rather flee than bite.
One such snake catcher is Nick Evans, who can be reached on 072 809 5806 or [email protected] Sarel van der Merwe can be contacted on 082 683 1604. One can also call Pure Venom on 039 685 0704.
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Edited and compiled by Nica Richards.