A ‘monstrous’ Black Mamba was caught on the border of Shallcross and Northdene on Monday, 9 April.

Blue Security’s Andreas Mathois said that the snake was found in one of the guard huts that ensure the community’s safety in the area.

“This massive specimen slithered into a guard hut, right past the guard who was sitting in there. He kept still and calm, as the snake curled up under a cabinet. With the community surrounding the hut, and me inside there, the poor thing was terrified, you could just see it. Even though it’s so big, it doesn’t change the fact that these snakes are frightened of people and just want to get away. One of the most impressive mambas I’ve seen,” said Mathois.

The community called Nick Evans of KZN Amphibian and Reptile Conservation to catch the snake.

“The security guard was in the hut and the snake slithered right past him. He kept very still and calm and that’s the main thing. Black Mambas have such a terrible reputation which is so over exaggerated. People need to understand that all snakes are more scared of us then we are of them. When a snake sees you, it just wants to get away. If it feels threaten it will defend itself and the only way to do that is by biting, but even if it’s in a corner, it won’t attack,” said Evans, who released the snake into a local nature reserve.

Evans added that it is better to call a snake expert to catch the snake because killing it disrupts the food chain.

“It’s important to understand that snakes are part of the ecosystem and food chain, they help to control rodent numbers,” he said.

If bitten by a Black Mamba, getting to hospital quickly is the main priority.

“Black Mambas produce neuro toxi venom which basically shuts the body down,” said Evans.

It is important to stay calm and relaxed to prevent the spread of poison. Stress or anxiety can cause the heart to beat faster and pump blood around the body more quickly. It is best to avoid moving and wrap the pit up tightly with a bandage. If one comes across a Black Mamba, it is important to remain calm and avoid approaching the snake. Sudden movements can frighten a snake and cause it to react.

Black Mambas can be identified by their brownish-grey skin and the black inside of the mouth which is displayed when the snake feels threatened. An adult snake can reach a length of about 2.5metres.