Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Snake in the Grass!

Yesterday at around 8:00 am I got a slightly hysterical call from Amos, the Chef at Royal Madikwe.

Now to say that Amos is a little scared of snakes is the same as saying the elections in Zimbabwe was a little unfair.

Amos woke up from the Arrow Marked Babblers going mad outside his window. As Amos opened his curtains to shout at the noisy birds, he found himself staring straight into the reason for the birds ongoing alarm calls...

A young Black Mamba!

This young elapid was sitting in the Bushwillow just outside his window and Amos found himself looking into the beady little eyes of Africa’s most venomous snakes. Due to it’s speed, lethal venom and, when they are threatened, highly aggressive nature they have attained almost legendary status in Africa and worldwide.

So we took the snake catching tongs and a cooler box to try and capture this youngster who did not have an escape route as he was ‘stuck’ in the branches of the tree. Mamba’s will normally try and escape rather than attack but unfortunately this guy did not have a choice. As I caught him with the things, he kept on striking at the steel tongs! Real nasty piece of work!

After catching him and safely getting him into the cooler box, we moved away from the confined area between the houses where Amos stayed towards the large lawn outside the pool where I was able to get a few images before we put him back in his cooler box.

We never kill snakes. Never. After all, we are in their ‘home’. Once you have them safely in the box, we drive them a few kilometres away from the lodge and drop them off in the bush. Hopefully they find a new home and don’t come back to the tree next to the chef’s house.

A few facts on the Black Mamba:
Average Life Span: Up to 10 years
Size: Up to 4 meters
Weight: Up to 1.6 kg
Max Speed: 20 km/h

Never a dull moment when you live in the ‘bush’!

As always I look forward to hearing from you!


1 comment:

Sandpiper said...

Oh, he's a nasty boy, but what a beauty!