WATCH | Green mamba takes rescuers to new heights on KZN south coast

24 February 2020 - 12:13 By Orrin Singh
Snake catchers had to enlist the help of firefighters with a long ladder to retrieve a green mamba which was curled around a branch 14m above ground.
Snake catchers had to enlist the help of firefighters with a long ladder to retrieve a green mamba which was curled around a branch 14m above ground.
Image: 123RF/Fabio Lotti

Crocworld Conservation Centre staff went to great heights to retrieve a green mamba from a branch overhanging the busy Gum Tree Road in Pennington, on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast, on Friday. 

James Wittstock, reptile curator, and Martin Rodrigues, centre manager at Crocworld, were called out to capture the snake which was curled around a branch 14m off the ground.

Rodrigues said they received a call that someone was trying to take potshots at the reptile with a pellet gun and, in the interests of the safety of the snake and the public, decided to remove it.

“In normal circumstances, we would have let the snake be, because it wasn't causing any harm to the public at that height. But after we heard someone was threatening to shoot it, we had to remove the mamba,” he said.

With the help of the Umkomaas fire department, the team secured an extendable ladder.

Using a grab stick, Rodrigues was able to get hold of the snake, which he then passed to Wittstock, who necked it safely while on the ladder.

“This was probably one of the most memorable snake removals in all my time doing this. Our legs were like jelly at such a height, but we are very grateful to the Umkomaas fire department for their help,” said Rodrigues.

The snake is now safe at Crocworld and will be released into an area away from human habitation.

The centre identifies and removes snakes for the communities of Scottburgh, Umkomaas, Pennington and Park Rynie at no cost.


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