Black Mamba Pictures

Zambezi

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Interesting thread and a lot of information... some good, some not so good and some bad...

There are very few snakes on the planet that have so much folklore and fact intertwined as the black mamba. Stories or their size, ferocity, habits, abilities etc. As a person who is interested in snakes, handled many and did some demos when I worked at a friends snake park (Snake City, Edenvale, Gauteng South Africa) I'd like to set a few things straight regarding this snake. I am by no means an expert and one should feel free to seek EXPERT info from someone like Johan Marias at the African Snakebite Institute. You will not find a better snake man on the continent. Also download their free app when you visit Africa, it's interesting, informative and very helpful in the bush.

Many people still believe that this is one of the few snakes that will chase you. FALSE. If you encounter one and it seems to come rapidly towards you it is because you are in its path between it and its hole. 99.99% of the time if you move 90 degrees from its line of travel it will move on by without incident. The stories of mambas outrunning horses etc are total BS. Over open ground a person should outrun a mamba all things considered. If you are uumm, er... "portly" you may have a problem :LOL: ... but remember they don't chase people so move at 90 degrees to their path of travel.

It is not an aggressive snake but it is a nervous one and will show a defensive posture when encountered or cornered. It will pull back its head in a striking pose or raise its head (and maybe up to a third of its body length in the air in extreme circumstances) and will spread a narrow hood much like a cobra but not as pronounced. It will gape and show its black mouth interior. It should be noted that specimens don't always have a black mouth but this is extremely rare.

The venom of this snake is potently neurotoxic and may cause difficulty with breathing within half an hour. Symptoms include a numbness of the lips, slurred speech, ptosis and progressive weakness. Antivenom is effective but often required in large quantities (10 – 15 vials).
(Source: African Snakebite Institute)

Bites can be dry or wet bites. Stories of people dying in 20 mins are so exceedingly rare that it's not worth thinking about unless you want to scare yourself to death. That could only happen if you are bitten in the face / neck or hit a main artery etc etc. Most bites occur below thigh height or on the lower arm / hand. All things being equal, it will take a few hours before life threatening symptoms begin to set in. Snakebite treatment protocols change regularly as for an up to date expert protocol read this... https://www.africansnakebiteinstitute.com/snakebite/#firstaid

For all your questions and detailed info about this and all snakes go to https://www.africansnakebiteinstitute.com/ ... you'll spend hours educating yourself and learning heaps.

In short, when in the bush and you see a mamba rest assured it is not going to chase you down, tower over you and bite you leading to your death in 20 mins!
 

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Nyati

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@Zambezi , very interesting.

I have the ASI app on my phone, lots of good info !
 

Newboomer

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Damn!!! Kill 'em all. I hate snakes.
 

Paul Raley

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What amazes me is how often one sees or hears of hunters walking or driving in the bush and encountering a snake , and then they kill it for no reason , except for the reason that they are scared and ignorant about snakes . I can understand that a venomous snake is despatched if it is close to , or in the camp but there is no valid reason to kill them if encountered out in the bush . Although not everyones "cup of tea" they are beautiful creatures that fulfill an important role in the ecosystem and we as hunters , that call ourselves conservationists should not randomly kill snakes , or any other creature for that matter . People including hunters should be educated about the role snakes play in the ecosystem but unfortunately ignorance , fear and culture often plays a role in how people perceive and treat snakes .
I have often encountered snakes when out in the bush and have never had one attack me or pose a direct danger to me as I left them alone and allowed them space . All snakes would prefer to get away from humans if given the choice .
A correction re one of the posts above - an Angolan Cobra was said to have spat at a young lady , it was more than likely a Mozambican Spitting Cobra and not an Angolan Cobra as they are unable to spit .
 

Spearhead

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more big black mamba's

here are 3 x big black mamba's my friends and i encountered over the years
3.2 to 3.6 m

mambatheunis.jpg


mambabertusjnr.jpg


mambawillem.jpg
[/IMG]

another one has been spotted a couple of times in this temite heap,
but so far we have managed to avoid each other!

SAM_4033.jpg
Obviously black mambas are attracted to
Toyota's . That's the obvious cause
Of these encounters;)
 

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