Durban – The last thing a Durban fisherman expected to spot at sea while fishing at Glenashley Beach on Thursday was a huge Black Mamba.
But that’s exactly what his puzzled eyes saw that sparked a frenzied race against the clock from Durban snake catcher Jason Arnold to save the 2.3m-long female Black Mamba.
It was the second Black Mamba to run aground on a Durban beach in recent months.
Recounting the drama, Arnold said a fisherman on the beach noticed a large snake among the waves and saw it wash up on the beach.
“One of the fishermen knew of my existence and called me immediately. He sent me a photo and I confirmed his suspicion that it was a Black Mamba, ”Arnold said.
“As I was on my way over there through the heavy traffic of Verulam, the person called me back to tell me that a big wave broke on the shore and brought the snake back into the sea and it was now quite far away. I told them to keep watching until I got there, ”he said.
Arnold said that by the time he got to the beach, the mamba had “literally been stranded on shore again”.
It had made his job of catching the snake quite easy as he was exhausted from all the swimming he had done.
“I stayed on the beach with it and a brave young woman helped me hold my body up, while I gently held my head down, allowing gravity to drain the amount of water swallowed. and inhaled.
“Every time the snake exhaled, I could literally feel the vibration of the gurgling water in its lungs. And with each breath, a little water flowed from the snakes’ mouths. Once I drained out all the water that wanted to come out, I put the snake in a large duvet cover safely, ”he said.
Arnold said the mamba was taken to his home and kept under observation until he could receive a clear bill of lading.
He later planned to release him to a suitable habitat away from humans.
“I guess the snake got swept away by a storm water pipe that led right onto this beach with the heavy downpour we had on Tuesday,” Arnold said.
He thanks the fishermen who called him and the local beach goers who helped him.