Recently I got a call out to the Stanley and Livingstone Hotel to catch what was thought to be a large Black Mamba. I was informed that the snake had taken refuge behind the swimming pool filter and had almost given the groundsman responsible for turning on the pump every morning a small fright when it hissed loudly his attempt to activate the backwash….Apparently in snake culture it is rude to interrupt a nap by doing routine backwashes of the pool. Needless to say he made a hasty retreat and, luckily for the snake, instead of calling someone to Obliterate the would be squatter, the groundsman informed one of the management who then called me to serve the snake its eviction notice.
When I arrived at the hotel I was shown to the pump house where the “intruder” was hiding. I was told in no uncertain terms that it was a Black Mamba so I approached the situation a little bit more cautiously than normal. I also used a rather unorthodox and less preferred method to capture the snake as I could not see exactly what I was dealing with in the dark room. Only once I had apprehended the suspect did identification become clear. Snouted Cobra !
This time though it wasn’t just a normal Snouted Cobra but a large Banded phase ! He was beautiful ! When I saw him I knew he had to be released somewhere spectacular and that this boy would have to have his own photoshoot. So I called Stuart Danks of Simply Africa. Stu is also a snake handler in Victoria Falls but has a passion for photographing this elegant creatures. The problem is trying to control a snake and take a picture can be quite tricky unless you have someone else to run around after the model. So Stu jumped at the opportunity.
After collecting Stu from his house we went to Zambezi National Park and reported to the HQ to inform the Rangers that we had captured a cobra and intended to release it safely in the park. With permission granted and our Parks Official escort in tow we found a suitable place for our photo shoot and release. I am not normally one to put a snake under unnecessary stress but I also believe that the opportunity to showcase this magnificent specimen and the potential to convert this experience to the education of others is a small price to pay for a snake that has been granted freedom and life when so many others are indiscriminately killed.
As soon as we got the pics we were looking for we sent the big guy on his way !
Snake safe ! Humans safe !
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Always Choose Awesome…