A painful cobra catch…

Looking at this Spitting Cobra made my eyes hurt….

One day last week, in the late morning, I was called to a home in Shallcross for a large grey snake that was in a bedroom. I arrived, and the description of the snake led me to believe it was a Mamba. It was an elderly couples home. When they saw the snake, they shut the door and put towles at the bottom, and the man went around the house to shut the windows, in order to contain it till I arrived. It wasn’t a large room, nor did it have many hiding places, but the snake somehow managed to vanish! I assumed it went out the low-lying window before the man got to close it.

Later, in the evening, they called me again, they had found the snake! They saw it curled up behind their freezer. I rushed off, until I hit peak-hour traffic, which slowed me down….

When I arrived, they stopped me at the front door with hand gestures. They pointed to the freezer, which was behind the front door. The lady said it was in the vent (i think where the fan is). I looked, and I just saw a pale-coloured nose reverse back in. It looked like a mamba from that brief view, they have a white nose.
But as I stuck my head closer to the vent, zapp! I had a dose of venom in my right eye, meaning it could only be one thing- a Mozambique Spitting Cobra!

I luckily turned my head just before the venom hurt, so it only really got my right eye and only a tiny bit in my left. I muttered a word that is not to be repeated…..it is terribly painful! It feels like having beach sand and soap in your eyes, only more painful! I was in no way ready to capture the snake…
I rushed outside to the tap, and started rinsing the venom out of my eyes. This is the best thing to do, water is best (milk is commonly believed as the best). I rinsed for about 5 minutes until I decided to quickly catch the snake. I put on my clear visor, and quickly plucked the snake out of the vent with my tongs. Then, straight back to the tap! This time I had a glass, which I kept filling up and holding against my eye, rinsing out the venom some more. This is the best thing to do in a scenario like this. I shall write a post in the next two days explaining more about what to do.

Eventually, the pain subsided and I went home with the snake in a bucket. I couldn’t wait to see it go back into the bush, away from my eyes! Moral of the story- wear glasses when looking for a snake in a house!

For snake removals you can contact me, Nick Evans, on 072 809 5806.
For snake educational work, email me at nickevanskzn@gmail.com.

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