A “fearless” dog has saved its owner from an extremely venomous black mamba snake.
Nick Evans—who owns a snake removal and relocation business in Greater Durban, South Africa—arrived at a property in Westville to find the dog named Benji, barking at something.
The homeowner had not actually spotted a snake, Evans said in a Facebook post. However, he had been to the property before to remove Mozambique spitting cobras. Benji the dog has also been known to do a “snake bark,” when he senses a reptile lurking in the home.
“Usually, I am extremely skeptical of going on calls where a snake hasn’t been seen, but knowing this dog and property, I knew I better investigate,” Evans said in the Facebook post. Sure enough, the snake catcher found a black mamba lurking under the outside table. Evans said in the Facebook post that Benji the dog had been “fearless.” The snake catcher, who was being helped by his wife, Joelle, set to work to remove the venomous reptile.
Black mambas are extremely venomous snakes native to southern Africa. Their bite can kill someone in 30 minutes if left untreated, but they do not attack unless directly provoked.
At first, Evans thought it was a Mozambique spitting cobra—a venomous snake that spits at people if they get too close. Despite mambas being incredibly venomous, Evans said he was relieved to find out that this was no spitting snake.
Using his phone to see through the small gap where the mamba was hiding, the snake catcher and his wife moved the planks of wood at the bottom of the table just enough to set about removing the reptile. When they managed to remove the snake from its hiding place, they realized it was around 8.2 feet long.
Black mambas, as well as being an incredibly fast snake species, also range in length from 7 feet to 14 feet, in rare cases.
It is not uncommon for residents to find the snakes entering their homes, although this is more likely in the warmer summer months when they are more active. Evans said he has not had a black mamba rescue in quite some time over this winter period.
Evans said the incident showed that it is “so important to understand your dog for many reasons.”
“In this case, if the owner simply ignored her dog, and left it to keep going at the snake, her dog likely would have attacked the snake once it came out (Benji couldn’t get to it where it was),” Evans added. “Benji might have killed the mamba, but in doing so, would have been bitten and likely would have died as a result. So grateful that that scenario didn’t unfold. Or, if she ignored Benji’s warnings, she might have ended up with a mamba in her home!”