While snake catcher Nick Evans usually has fun at work as he rescues snakes in KwaZulu-Natal, things went south on Sunday after being attacked by angry ants.
Evans was called to the scene after a father and son found a black mamba while playing with a ball in their back garden in Dawncliffe, Westville, in KwaZulu-Natal, on Sunday.
The ball rolled down an embankment and stopped on a ledge, where a black mamba was curled up.
“Amazingly, the mamba didn’t move. I’d have bet it would have shot off. It was obviously enjoying the sun so much, maybe having a snooze too,” shared Evans on his Facebook page.
“Needless to say, the father didn’t freeze. He moved back, quickly.”
When he arrived, he could not see the snake because of the grass and branches that were in the way.
“Eventually, I got right to where the snake was supposed to be, and all I could see was a branch. I was sure he’d seen a branch and not a snake, but then, the mamba moved! How I had not seen it, I don’t know. It was too quick for me to do anything. It shot down the ledge into a pile of garden refuse.”
This is when the search got even more complicated for Evans, who decided to call his friend for help.
“We started raking and digging away the leaves, compost etc. This caused a major problem. We, unintentionally, were breaking apart ants’ nests among the compost, and they were furious! They erupted, crawling wildly all over the place. It didn’t take long before they were climbing up us,” said Evans.
“Trying to look for a highly venomous snake, while being covered by ants, is not fun. Eventually they were going in my ears, eyes, it was horrid. But we tried to focus on the snake. Eventually, after a bit of digging, we found the mamba, tucked under a large rock.”
The duo then managed to pull the reptile out. Evans said it would be relocated to a safer area.
“The search was more eventful than the capture! It was a relief to get the ants off afterwards!”
Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde