Black mamba cancels school for 3 days

Posted by Elise Kirsten on 20 January 2020

The first week of classes at a primary school on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast was disrupted by a highly venomous snake.

Children that attend Olwasini Junior Primary School in Amahlongwa were sent home after a black mamba was discovered in one of the classrooms.

Crocworld Conservation Centre in Scottburgh was asked to send one of its reptile experts to remove the snake.

‘The school staff identified the snake and contacted us to retrieve it, but it took three days before we were finally able to get hold of the snake,’ said Crocworld Conservation Manager Martin Rodrigues.

The mamba was first spotted on the roof of the school building, explained the principal, Mpume Mvubu. ‘We called the police and Crocworld Conservation Centre to rescue us!’

However, the dangerous reptile, which is also one of the fastest moving snakes in the world, then slithered into the classroom wall and was not easy to extract.

‘The snake was hiding in the actual brickwork near the ceiling, inside the wall. It would be spotted but we couldn’t find the hole it was getting in through,’ said Rodrigues.

‘We are grateful that both the learners are safe as well as the black mamba that was safely removed and will be relocated to a suitable habitat away from human habitation,’ Crocworld Conservation Centre posted on its Facebook page.

After caring for the snake, Rodrigues said ‘it will be released within a 5 to 10km radius from the original capture site. In suitable habitat away from human habitation.’

Speaking to News 24, Rodrigues said,’It’s important to remember that snake captures are done by professionals. You need to know what you’re doing, use the right equipment and understand the behaviour of the animal – especially with a snake like a black mamba.’

Image: Martin Rodrigues/ Crowold

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