Double Release!

Removing a snake from a place where it should not be can be a tricky business. And if the snake is a Black Mambas then it gets extra exciting.

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Yesterday, I caught the largest Black Mamba I have ever seen (see video 1). This beautiful specimen was rather calm during the capture. I released it this morning in a remote part of the reserve.

https://youtu.be/eZdahoey20U

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And then midday today I was called to catch another of these fast moving snakes. This one was more ‘feisty’ and was quite agitated during the capture and the release (see video 2).

https://youtu.be/Eoit1he0b8k

But in the end everything went well and both snakes can establish their new homes far away from people and buildings 🙂

The picture credits for today go to Letishia Kleinschmidt and Jennie Pretorius. Thanks a lot. My favorite shot of today is Jennie’s picture of a ‘Black Mamba Selfie’ :-).

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Convinced!

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With all the input from many snake experts around the world I have changed the story 🙂

“When we were on the way to pick up our Thanda guests for the afternoon game drive we ran into these two Black Mambas. The two males were fighting for mating rights with a female in the midday sun on one of the main roads at Thanda. Both of them were so engaged in their actions that they were completely oblivious of us. What a sighting!”

For more images of this encounter go to https://christiansperka.wordpress.com/2013/04/21/mating-mambas/

“Fighting” Mambas

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I am convinced!

With all the input for many snake experts around the world I have changed the story 🙂 :

“When we were on the way to pick up our Thanda guests for the afternoon game drive we ran into these two Black Mambas. The two males were fighting for mating rights with a female in the midday sun on one of the main roads at Thanda. Both of them were so engaged in their actions that they were completely oblivious of us. What a sighting!”

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About Black Mambas:

The Black Mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) is the longest venomous snake in Africa. It is named for the black color of the inside of the mouth rather than the color of its scales which varies from dull yellowish-green to a gun-metal grey. It is also the fastest snake in the world, capable of moving at 4.32 to 5.4 meters per second (16–20 km/h, 10–12 mph). The Black Mamba has a reputation for being very aggressive, but it usually attempts to flee from humans like most snakes, unless it is threatened. Without rapid and vigorous anti-venom therapy, a bite from a Black Mamba is almost always fatal.

Cobras, Pythons, Boomslangs and Mambas

I had a very exciting day and I am very happy that I got my snake handling competency certificate. This morning started with working on various staged situations where I had to remove snakes from various places (Gardens, rooms and trees).

The first snake was a Puff Adder, followed by two Snouted Cobras and two very fast Mozambique Spitting Cobras (I had to catch these on the run!). In the afternoon I learned how to catch African Rock Pythons and how to get a Boomslang and a Black Mamba out of a tree.

One of the Khamai staff members took a few pictures of me working with the Python, the Boomslang and the Mamba (see below). In an assessment at the end of the course I had to capture two snakes (a Puff Adder and a Snouted Cobra) from a garden shed. I passed the assessment! I learned a lot and I hope that I will be able to help with needed snake captures once I am back in Kwazulu Natal. It was an excellent course.

 

 

Pictures (2): African Rock Python Capture

 

 

Picture: Boomslang Handling

 

 

Picture: Black Mamba Capture from a Tree

For more information on about reptile and snake handling courses go to www.khamai.co.za.

No Glass!

Puff Adder, Snouted Cobra, Boomslang and Black Mamba!

From my days at the Nashville Zoo I was used to see venomous snakes only from behind glass or from a great distance. During my first open-air session at Khamai Reptile Centre (www.khamai.co.za) I had some great encounters with a few venomous snakes. The snake handlers at Khamai were very competent and I learned a lot about the animals.

And I got some great photo opportunities. All pictures were taken from eye level (= me lying in the grass on my belly :-)). The only exception was the Black Mamba pictures which I took standing up during a feeding session. In the picture you only see the tail of the mouse, but you can see the black color of the mouth lining which gives the Black Mamba its name.

Today I already got to handle a Puff Adder. Tomorrow follows a full day of snake handling – I am looking forward to it.

PS: Rick, Heather, Dale and Steve from the Nashville Zoo: You would love it out here 🙂