KwaZulu Natal’s snake wrangler, Nick Evans detailed an unusual capture which took place on Sunday…

According to the conservationist, it had been a ‘mamba drought’ until Sunday. “It had been just over 8 weeks since I had captured one. A miserable time!”

However, he was called to the rescue on Sunday afternoon. A woman in Dawncliffe had been robbed of her cellphone by two thieves armed with pangas. “They made her pass her phone through the gate, and ran off,” says Evans.

The thieves were then pursued by SAPS officer, Wynand Laatz who gave chase through the nearby bush. “To his shock and horror, he bumped into a two and a half meter long Black Mamba!” says Evans. “The chase briefly ended for him. Other security personnel gave chase through the bush further along the road, but the thieves had vanished.”

READ MORE: WATCH: Snakes alive! Epic rescues & how to stop snakes entering your yard 

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

Officer Laatz called Evans who thankfully lives nearby

“When I saw Wynand’s name pop up on my phone, I knew it was something serious. He told me to rush over to his location for this big mamba, and so I did! I sprinted out the house, without shoes, or even my wallet.”

“I didn’t know about the drama with the thieves at the time. When I arrived, there were a bunch of NHW and local security company cars all along the road. ‘All for a snake?’, I thought. Strange. I jumped out the car, grabbed my tongs, and was told to go to the bottom of the garden. I ran down.”

“As I approached Wynand, I stepped onto a bunch of Bougainvillea branches on the floor, with my bare foot. Bougainvillea is my arch nemesis. I absolutely hate it!”

“Wynand kicked off his shoes and chucked them to me. I shoved them on, and walked with great caution to where the mamba was. I walked past a large rock on my right, and as a passed it, I noticed the mamba’s head popping out from behind it.”

“I was so close. It looked like it was going to make a dash for it. I reached slowly towards it, with my tongs, and grabbed it. On Sunday, it was over 30C. This snake must have been lying in the hot sun all day, because it exploded into action! More so than what a mamba usually does! It went ballistic, thrashing around, trying to break free of the tongs!”

“My language wasn’t great, and Wynand and Co grew anxious when they could see I was in a spot of bother. But finally, I managed to pin the head down, and secure it with my hand. All done! Much to my great relief, and Wynand’s.”

Nick Evans- Snake Rescuer
@nickevanskzn · Environmental conservation organisation

Success and safe release

Evans was able to secure the snake and release it into a more suitable area. He posted pictures of the capture on his Facebook page. He apologised for not wearing a mask in the photo, as he had rushed out of the house in a panic. “I don’t think I’ve ever rushed like I did for this call, as I have for any call before. And because it was so close, I wasn’t in the car thinking about things. I bolted out the car, barely remembering tongs. So really, I completely forgot about a mask. I also was never close to anyone, only for a brief moment for this pic, and everyone else had masks.”