Deadly Black Mamba Expertly Pulled From Car Engine

CENPublished: March 6, 2018
Published: March 6, 2018

A snake expert is seen tugging a venomous black mamba out of a car engine after it slithered in there to shelter from people attacking it.

Snake aficionado Jason Arnold was filmed winkling the snake out of the engine compartment in the city of Durban in eastern South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province.

The Universal Reptiles employee said the driver of the car was at one point trapped inside it, fearing the highly venomous snake would bite him if he tried to get out.

Mr Arnold said of the driver: "He heard people screaming and shouting and saw a big snake underneath the overhang of the building."

The 7-foot-2-inch (2.2-metre) reptile was seen to wriggle under the man’s car at around 1.30pm after witnesses threw things at it, local media reported.

Mr Arnold continued: "The driver saw it go under his car but was scared to get out of the car in case it came out the other side. People surrounding his car told him it hadn’t come out, so he closed his windows so the snake wouldn’t get in."

It was not clear how long the man stayed in his car but he eventually summoned the courage to open the door and dash out.

Mr Arnold went on: "There were hundreds of spectators. We had to bring the police in to cordon off the area, closing off one lane, because I was scared that when I started searching for the snake and it no longer felt safe in the car it would dart out into the crowd."

But although witnesses were sure they had seen the snake go under the car, Mr Arnold could not find it.

He said: "I even stuck my head under the car but there was no sign of it."

He had the car towed to a quieter street.

He added: "We weren’t there for five minutes (and) when I opened the bonnet, there it was. It must have been disturbed by the wind, as it had made its way into the engine compartment.

"The snake was obviously scared and didn’t want to come out, it wanted to stay where it felt safe."

A video shows Mr Arnold carefully extracting the snake’s coils from inside the engine compartment.

He thinks the highly dangerous black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) had been in the vehicle of another driver who unwittingly gave it a lift into the town from its countryside home.

He said: "I can only assume that at some point the snake sought shelter or a warm place in someone else’s car. Snakes can do that and stay in the car when it’s moving for hours and only get out when it stops."

The video shows him putting it carefully into a cotton sack. It was later released in bushes far from any towns or villages, he said.

Before anti-venom treatments were available, bites from black mambas were nearly always fatal. The species is not endangered.

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