Black Mamba

Discussions and information on all Southern African Reptiles
User avatar
Lisbeth
Global Moderator
Posts: 55092
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 12:31 pm
Country: Switzerland
Location: Lugano

Black Mamba

Post by Lisbeth » Fri May 17, 2019 12:00 pm

2019-05-16 15:10
Sharlene Rood


phpBB [video]


Residents of a home in Ndwedwe, in rural KwaZulu-Natal, found themselves in a scaly situation when a 2.2m black mamba took up occupancy in their roof.

Nick Evans, owner of KwaZulu-Natal Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, was called to the scene to remove the snake and described the rescue as the "most thrilling" of the year so far.

"For a start it was… a very long drive," he told News24. "Then we had to try and find it in the ceiling. And I had to stand on [a] not so stable ladder. Some of the steps were broken."

At one point during the rescue he fell from the ladder, when the mamba's tail suddenly popped from the roof.

"I fell back, I was next to a chest freezer and I landed on that. It gave me a fright," he said.

Evans was called out to the area on April 18, on the eve of the Easter weekend.

Intimidating sound

"It was quite something," he said. "Everything about it was difficult."

Evans says it took them nearly two hours to locate the snake in the roof of the rondavel, cutting holes in the plastic tarp that covered the roof as they went along.

"You can hear it moving around. It's such a specific intimidating sound," he said.

He says all of the residents of the property had helped out by keeping watch.

When they eventually found the snake, Evans said the man in the room with him wanted to bolt.

Evans said he needed his help to shine a torchlight on the snake.

"The poor guy, he was terrified."

Tense moments

"When I was pulling it out, there was a moment where it just started reversing very quickly. Too quickly."

He said the snake could easily have taken a swipe at his hand or face.

At this point, Evans found himself crouching down on the ladder, trying to find cover behind a wall, until he was able pin the head of the snake down.

"It was tense."

The snake was also in the process of shedding its skin, which Evans said makes them a bit more defensive due to the fact that their vision is affected.

"There is a scale on their eyes and their eyes cloud over. Their vision is badly affected, so they're a bit more grumpy."

Evans suspects the snake was seeking shelter in the roof from a looming storm.

"They love ceilings because it's warm and safe."

He said mambas were "not the evil monsters people make them out to be".

"If you leave them alone, they'll leave you alone."

The mamba was set free in a valley, not too far from the rescue site, where "it shouldn't bump into people again".

Scarier still

But that wasn't the end of Evans' saga - after the rescue he was caught in a downpour and his windscreen wipers failed.

"It was an absolute nightmare."

"That was even more terrifying than the snake capture," he quipped.


https://www.news24.com/Video/SouthAfric ... e-20190516
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela
The desire for equality must never exceed the demands of knowledge

User avatar
Richprins
Committee Member
Posts: 67569
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 3:52 pm
Location: NELSPRUIT

Re: WATCH: 2.2m black mamba removed from roof of KZN home

Post by Richprins » Fri May 17, 2019 12:37 pm

O-/
Please check Needs Attention pre-booking: https://africawild-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=322&t=596

User avatar
Flutterby
Site Admin
Posts: 45278
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 12:28 pm
Country: South Africa
Location: Gauteng, South Africa

Re: WATCH: 2.2m black mamba removed from roof of KZN home

Post by Flutterby » Fri May 17, 2019 1:25 pm

O-/ O-/

User avatar
Lisbeth
Global Moderator
Posts: 55092
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 12:31 pm
Country: Switzerland
Location: Lugano

Re: Black Mamba

Post by Lisbeth » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:22 am

Black mamba sightings: It's mating season, so 'call the professionals'

2019-06-20 05:33
Kamva Somdyala


phpBB [video]

A family in Westville, Durban had an unexpected visitor at their door earlier this month.

e KwaZulu-Natal Amphibian and Reptile Conservation advises.

Mating season is the reason for the recent rise in cases of black mambas sightings in and around Durban, the conservation's Nick Evans said. The season ends at the beginning of August, Evans added, sating "other snakes will come together in September".

"It's normal [to see so many cases of black mambas being spotted by people] this time of the year. People normally call a day or even a week later to report seeing them," he said, adding that the number of cases reported over the past week or so had decreased.

This, said Evans, was because of the drop in temperatures in KwaZulu-Natal. In the past two weeks, he had been called out "about 15 times" to catch black mambas. "I obviously didn't catch all of them."

phpBB [video]

Black mamba captured after snake fight at KZN office park

Employees working at the Westway Office Park in Durban, had their lunch hour interrupted, when they stumbled on two black mambas combating, earlier this month.

The latest incident involved a 10-minute mission to catch a 2.3m black mamba a Westville family found, while employees at the Westway Office Park in Durban had their lunch hour interrupted when they stumbled on two snakes earlier this month.

'Leave them alone'

So, what do you do when you see one?

"Leave them alone. Do not attack them," Evans advised, adding that black mambas do not bite unless attacked.

"I guess they've got a bad name. If you spot a black mamba 2m or 3m from you, leave it. It won't hurt you."

After Evans catches one, he normally inserts a microchip in it.

The microchip, he explained, was to keep track of the reptile.
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela
The desire for equality must never exceed the demands of knowledge

User avatar
Lisbeth
Global Moderator
Posts: 55092
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 12:31 pm
Country: Switzerland
Location: Lugano

Re: Black Mamba

Post by Lisbeth » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:14 pm

Five black mambas surround ‘snake magnet’ home in Durban

2019-07-09 19:12

phpBB [video]


KwaZulu-Natal snake catcher Nick Evans faced an unusual challenge when he was called out to remove five black mambas from a single Durban property in June.

"It was very exciting for me," said Evans who owns the KZN Amphibian and Reptile Conservation.

Evans described the property in Reservoir Hills as a "snake magnet".

"There were two males on the property and one female. The two males were wrestling one another."

He told News24 on his first visit he was able to catch one male and the female, but the second male managed to slither away.

The homeowners then resorted to burning the thick vegetation to get rid of the strong scent.

"A week later, I was called back for another snake sighting. We were able to track down a male black mamba that had been hiding behind two walls."

On the eighth day, Evans said he caught a fifth snake on the property.

"We also had a bit of rain that week that I think managed to get rid of the female's scent," he explained.

Evans said black mamba sightings were common during the months of June and July as a result of the mating season.

"The female's scent is like a snake magnet that keeps the males coming back," he said.
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela
The desire for equality must never exceed the demands of knowledge

User avatar
Flutterby
Site Admin
Posts: 45278
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 12:28 pm
Country: South Africa
Location: Gauteng, South Africa

Re: Black Mamba

Post by Flutterby » Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:40 pm

I would move house! O**

User avatar
RogerFraser
Site Admin
Posts: 4991
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:36 pm
Country: South Africa
Location: Durban

Re: Black Mamba

Post by RogerFraser » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:22 pm

PICS: Durban snake catcher brings back bitten dog 'from the dead'
Image
https://www.iol.co.za/dailynews/news/kw ... WQDdt8ZTzU

Durban - "Miraculous" is one word used to describe the survival of an Alaskan Malamute dog that was brought back from the brink of death after being bitten by a Black Mamba in Westville.

The dog received eight vials of antivenom.


It was an emotional roller coaster for Nick Evans of the KwaZulu-Natal Amphibian and Reptile Conservation and the dog's owner following the incident in Northcliffe Avenue on Monday.

Evans said the mamba had slithered onto a property and was confronted by three dogs and a security guard.

Evans said the dogs barked ferociously at the snake, while the guard attacked it with a stick, beating it to death.

"During the struggle and out of instinct, the dog named Diesel attacked the mamba, biting it two or three times. This action was going to result in the dog being bitten in return. Fortunately, the homeowners were present and heard the commotion. They noticed something wasn't right with their dog and rushed him to a vet," Evans said.

The two-and-a-half-year-old Diesel managed to walk into the vet but as he entered, he collapsed. Evans said the venom was taking effect.

"The vets immediately administered the two vials of antivenom kept on the premises, but it didn't seem to have too much of an effect. Diesel was crashing.
I was called in. At the time of the call, I was in Sherwood, which is about 10 minutes from St Augustine's Hospital. I knew the dog would need more than two vials. I knew exactly who would be able to help. I contacted Dr Kevin McEwen from St Augustine's," he said.

"I phoned him and he didn't hesitant into readying the antivenom for me. He prepared two vials and I raced over to Westville to collect them. Four vials is what saved Jasper, the lucky terrier who survived a mamba bite last year. Diesel was on a ventilator. His blood pressure had dropped, as had his heart rate. The neurotoxic venom quickly shutting his body down," Evans explained.

"The two vials were injected, and we waited. Those two extra vials barely stabilised him. We could see he wasn't going to improve without more antivenom," he said.

Evans said he contacted McEwen to ask for two more vials. He said when he returned to the vet, he could feel the mood in the room was anxious.

"Apparently Diesel had a seizure when I left. He had crashed completely. He was dead at a stage, before being resuscitated. It wasn't looking good at all for him. The two vials of antivenom were administered and again, it was a waiting game. However, he seemed to have stabilised. He wasn't breathing on his own, he was on a ventilator, but his vitals were stable," Evans said.

Image

Diesel being treated at the Westville Veterinarian. Picture by Nick Evans.
Evans said when he looked at the snake's body, he found it to be a spectacular male specimen - 2.6m long, and well-fed!

"It was gut-wrenching to see this snake like this and to know what happened. The thought of the dog dying on top of all this was just worsening my mood. The dog owner phoned and was concerned that he wasn't improving. He asked if I could get more antivenom. So I consulted Dr McEwen and Arno Naude, my snakebite assistant. They said more antivenom could only do good," he said.

The dog owner fetched two vials from Hillcrest Vet.

Evans said Diesel was still stable, but his life was still on the line.

"He had started breathing by himself! A hugely positive sign! On Wednesday, he was starting to respond to sounds and being touched, particularly when his family went to see him! But he couldn't stand. On Thursday morning, I got the good news - Diesel was up on his feet! Ah! I was so relieved and excited! I went into see him. He was panting a whole lot, but walking around and loving his family," Evans said.

He said Diesel was very lucky and had a fighting spirit. Evans said usually dogs don't make it to the vet after a mamba bite.

Evans thanked Dr McEwen

"Without his prompt organisation of the antivenom, Diesel would have been dead before nightfall. Those four vials kept him alive and gave him the best possible chance," he said.

He also thanked Naude and the vets who assisted.

"Diesel's family was determined to see their dog live," Evans said.

He further explained that it was not the mamba or dog's fault.

"The snake did not intentionally attack the dog but when left without a choice, it had to defend itself, like any animal or human would. One can't blame the dogs either, as they act out of instinct, and perhaps want to protect their families. We see conflict like this every year, and its just horrible. At least this one ended well for the dog," Evans said.

Daily News

User avatar
Lisbeth
Global Moderator
Posts: 55092
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 12:31 pm
Country: Switzerland
Location: Lugano

Re: Black Mamba

Post by Lisbeth » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:32 pm

I wonder how many vials a person would need -O-
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela
The desire for equality must never exceed the demands of knowledge

User avatar
Lisbeth
Global Moderator
Posts: 55092
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 12:31 pm
Country: Switzerland
Location: Lugano

Re: Black Mamba

Post by Lisbeth » Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:43 pm

Why knowing what black mamba venom does to the human body is crucial

Image

Black mambas are extremely dangerous reptiles – in fact, many consider the species to be one of the world’s deadliest snakes. They are found in southern and eastern Africa, and are shy, evasive creatures. They won’t seek out human interaction. But if cornered or confronted, they will strike. And their venom is lethal.

Black mambas (don’t let the name fool you – they’re very rarely black, and are more usually a dark brown – it is the inside of the mouth which is black) probably cause the largest number of snake-related deaths in southern Africa. In a recent case, a South African judge died after being bitten by a black mamba while he was travelling in Zambia. But the data for the whole continent is limited, so the precise number isn’t known. This is chiefly because most of these deaths occur in rural parts of Africa with limited health infrastructure and other resources.

Sub-optimal mortuary facilities, inadequate professional manpower, poorly developed protocols and the lack of an efficient and reliable toxicology service means many of these deaths in Africa’s more rural areas are not properly diagnosed. It is most likely that these snakebite victims get buried without a thorough forensic pathological autopsy.

The black mamba is born with two to three drops of venom per fang. It is a front-fanged snake, with fangs up to 6.5 mm in length, located at the front of the upper jaw. An adult of the species has between 12 and 20 drops per fang. It takes just two drops of venom to kill an adult human. This means that even young black mambas are extremely dangerous.

Not much is known about the pathology of trauma of black mamba bites – that is, what the black mamba’s toxin does, physically, inside a victim’s system. We do know that the venom is neurotoxic and cardiotoxic. That means that it has a direct effect on the nerves and the heart.

The more we know, the better. If we know precisely what the toxin does, hospitals and clinics might be better prepared to treat those who’ve been bitten.

A recent case study

Recently my colleagues and I examined the case of a young man who was bitten by a black mamba in South Africa. He arrived at the hospital 20 minutes after being bitten and had already suffered cardiac arrest with accompanying hypoxic brain injury.

This was my third encounter with the victim of a black mamba bite. My first fatal encounter, in 2000, involved a 12-year-old girl who was bitten on the thigh by a black mamba. The second involved a British tourist who was accidentally bitten at a snake park, and who also died.

In this latest case, the co-workers of the young man who died were certain that the snake was a black mamba. This gave us, as forensic pathologists, an excellent opportunity to thoroughly investigate this matter. Oftentimes, the history is scant, with victims unable to properly identify the snake which bit them.

The forensic examination consists of a thorough macroscopic post mortem examination, followed by histological (microscopic) examination and blood tests.

A black mamba’s venom is complex. It interferes with transmission across the motor end-plate, which is where the nerves and muscles connect, so it will result in paralysis. The venom is also cardiotoxic, which means it may have a direct effect on the heart.

How to treat it

So what should you do if a black mamba bites you or someone around you?

The first priority is to transport the victim to an appropriate medical facility as soon as possible. First aid should focus on maintaining vital functions, such as respiratory support. Keep the victim still and try limit any unnecessary movement. Remove constricting items (for example rings and clothing), especially those close to the bite site.

The first-aid treatment of black mamba bites includes lymphatic retardation with the pressure immobilisation technique – in other words try and wrap a tight crepe bandage or tourniquet close to the bite site.

Medical management comprises continuous monitoring, making sure the airways are open, treating symptoms and the immediate administration of antivenom. The antivenom is injected intravenously because absorption is poor via the muscles. It’s also important not to inject into or around the bite site. In rare instances the victim may be put on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, which is a way of providing prolonged cardiac and respiratory support to those whose heart and lungs are unable to provide oxygen to the body.

This combination of respiratory support and antivenom may save a person’s life. Over time, the antivenom will ease muscle paralysis and set the victim on the road to recovery.

Ryan Blumenthal is a Senior Specialist Forensic Pathologist and Associate Professor in the University of Pretoria’s Department of Forensic Medicine.

This article first appeared in The Conversation on 12 September 2019.
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela
The desire for equality must never exceed the demands of knowledge

User avatar
Flutterby
Site Admin
Posts: 45278
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 12:28 pm
Country: South Africa
Location: Gauteng, South Africa

Re: Black Mamba

Post by Flutterby » Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:45 am

Scary! O-/

Return to “Reptiles”