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Wed Apr 16 18:20:19 SAST 2014

Black Mamba still missing from Pretoria Zoo

Sapa | 23 March, 2013 13:57
Black Mamba Snake (Dendroaspis polylepis)
Image by: StuPorts / Getty Images/iStockphoto

The black mamba which has been missing from the Pretoria Zoo for nearly two weeks is yet to be found, the zoo says.

Marketing Manager Craig Allanby said the search for the reptile continued on Saturday morning.

On Friday, the zoo said the snake -- now "affectionately named" Houdini -- was probably stolen.

Allanby said there was a market for illegal trade in indigenous reptiles such as black mambas.

An internal investigation into the possible theft of the snake would also be conducted at the zoo to probe whether staff members could have been involved.

The hunt for Houdini started on March 11 after staff members realised the mamba was missing from the zoo's reptile park.

Since then prey such as rats and chicks were used to try and lure the snake, but that was unsuccessful.

A company was also called in to try and find the snake using thermal imaging cameras. Houdini was still not found.

The zoo said the snake was no threat to the public or its visitors.

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Wed Apr 16 18:20:19 SAST 2014 ::