DURBAN - A snake catcher on the South Coast caught two black mambas in a case of mistaken identity.
South Coast snake catcher Sarel van der Merwe last Friday bagged two black mambas, the first in Gamalakhe and the second at Oribi.
Van der Merwe said since the catch, he had released the snakes in the mountains.
“Both of them were more than 3.1 metres long,” Van der Merwe said.
He said he first received a call where a man said he saw a snake going into the bedroom, and they just closed the door and waited for me.
He said prior to the call, he had been in the neighbourhood where he caught four black mambas. There are plenty of rondavels deep in Gamalakhe, in very mountainous and bushy terrain.
“As I got into the bedroom, it was getting into the base of the mattress. I grabbed his tail, without knowing there was another hole on the right of the base, and that’s when he stuck his head out while I was holding his tail,” Van der Merwe said.
“He moved away and he stuck his head back in. Then I started pulling him out slowly so I could get him safely.”
Van der Merwe said it was difficult to bag the snake outside, so he bagged it inside the rondavel and left.
He got home and did some normal call outs, like for the bush snake.
At about 4pm, he got a phone call about a green mamba that had got into the oven.
He said he took a small stick, because green mambas were easy to catch.
He said the family had sealed and closed the stove with blankets, hoping the snake would not get out.
“I pulled the drawer open and quickly closed it. I said ‘guys, guys, guys, this is a black mamba, not a green mamba’,” Van der Merwe said.
He said he went to get his tools and a big bag because a black mamba was not placed in a small bag.
“I opened the drawer and caught it quickly,” Van der Merwe said.
“I left a very happy family behind.”
He said last season he caught a black mamba in a bakkie’s engine at the neighbour’s house. He said he had caught plenty of black mambas in vehicle engines.