See How This Man Effortlessly Catches the ‘World’s Deadliest Snake’

The eight-foot-long black mamba was caught after it slid into a home in South Africa.

Black mambas are not a snake you want to mess with.

These snakes are fast—they can slither up to 12 miles per hour.

They're long—they've been known to reach up to 14 feet.

And they're venomous—extremely venomous. Some have even been known to call the black mamba the most dangerous snake in the world.

For one conservationist in South Africa, catching black mambas, or any reptile for that matter, is one of his favourite past times.

"It's what I live for!" said Nick Evans in an email with National Geographic.

WATCH: MAN REMOVES 'WORLD'S DEADLIEST SNAKE' FROM HOME June 21, 2017 - A black mamba, considered to be one of the most deadliest snakes in the world, paid an unexpected visit to a home in Durban, South Africa. The venomous snake was measured to be over eight feet long (2.5 meters) and was probably interested in the numerous pets the homeowner was keeping. A professional snake handler was called in to remove the mamba safely, and it was later tagged and released in a reserve.

Evans runs the KwaZulu Natal Amphibian and Reptile Conservation organisation in Durban, South Africa. Their mission focuses on education and dispelling common misconceptions about snakes. Evans also frequently removes them from properties in Durban.

Video taken from inside the home of one of Durban's residents shows an up-close look at the mamba's deadly mouth. Black mambas, which have grey or olive skin, actually derive their name from the striking, blueish black colour of the inside of their mouths. 

Evans reported that the house was home to an array of rabbits, hamsters, and birds, ideal prey for a snake that primarily feeds on small animals (small mammals are a particular favourite).

In the beginning of the video, the snake lies nearly motionless, with its mouth agape. These snakes are characteristically shy and display the inside of their mouths if they feel threatened. Mambas will usually only strike if their perceived attacker persists.

"In the open, and if it has the opportunity, the mamba will always flee rather than fight," said Evans. "In a situation like this, it will gape at the threat, exposing the pitch-black, inside of its mouth."

Other warnings of defence include the snake lifting its head and nearly a third of its body off the ground, spreading its cobra-like neck flaps, and hissing. Once a black mamba strikes its attacker, it injects a dangerous cocktail of neuro- and cardiotoxins.

Evans, however, makes it look easy as he catches the snake using special tongs, before it has a chance to strike.

After catching the reptile, Evans measured it, finding it to be just over eight feet long (2.5 meters). All the snakes and various reptiles Evans catches are released in a reserve. He inserts a rice-sized microchip under the skin of each one. If the same animal is caught twice, this allows him to measure how far it roamed or how big it has grown.

Black mambas can be found throughout sub-Saharan Africa. These animals prefer to avoid people, but as humans expand into their territory, interactions become more likely and could constitute a possible threat for both snakes and people.

Said Evans, "In summer, I may receive twenty or more calls in a single day."

Many of those calls turn out to be false alarms. When dealing with venomous snakes, most experts advise calling a professional to remove the animal. Evans says the best way to prevent an unwanted interaction is to learn more about snake characteristics and what might attract them to a home.

Discuss this article


Never miss a Nat Geo moment

Your email address
We use our own and third-party cookies to improve our services, personalise your advertising and remember your preferences. If you continue browsing, or click on the accept button on this banner, we understand that you accept the use of cookies on our website. For more information visit our Cookies Policy AcceptClose cookie policy overlay