Snake Rescue

EAST COAST RADIO  |  Podcast , ±7 min episodes every 1 week, 4 days  |  Broadcast schedule  | 
Snake Rescue with Nick Evans is an adrenalin-fuelled podcast series which follows Nick on his exciting snake rescue adventures in the Greater Durban area. As you'll hear, Durban is home to some of the most dangerous snakes in the world. With a population of over 3.5 million people, and many snakes around, human/snake conflict is a common occurrence, and snakes end up being found in some strange places! It's Nick's job to safely remove these misunderstood animals. There are always challenges and risks involved though. To be part of Nick’s adventures, listen to this podcast.

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Cobra spits at Durban dogs: Nick Evans on what to do

When Nick Evans get calls for a Mozambique Spitting Cobra in a property where there are dogs, he always worries. Cobras don't attack dogs, but dogs attack them, and other snakes. If the dog does attack, they're in for a nasty surprise, as some of these dogs at a home in Hillary found out.

"It's like a snakes version of pepper spray!" says Nick.

"Most of the time the snake escapes unharmed. Most of the time."

And very, very rarely do dogs get bitten. They usually just get temporarily blinded. A far better result, of course if treated, than a life-threatening cobra bite.


Firstly, get your dogs away from the snake. Then, with help from a family member, you need to rinse the venom out of the eyes with water. A hose pipe on low pressure or bottle of water works well. Don't use a bowl.
Rinse as best as you can, but holding a dog still for this can be difficult.
If you succeed, it's a good idea to take your dog to your local vet for a check up and eye drops to sooth the pain.
If you are not managing, take the dog to the vet, and they can maybe sedate it and treat it effectively.

Puff Adder camouflaged in KZN garden leaves scares homeowner

Imagine doing a little gardening, only to discover a deadly snake coiled up in the leaves! That's exactly what happened to a Durban homeowner who got one major surprise when she realised she wasn't just raking up leaves.
A Puff Adder had chosen her leaf-covered lawn to get cosy! That's when she called Snake Rescue's Nick Evans, who raced to the Upper Highway area to help.

Puff Adders have keeled scales, giving their skin a slightly rough appearance as opposed to the smooth and sometimes shiny appearance of many other snake species.

This, coupled with their chevron patters and mixed colors (usually yellow and black in Midlands, Drakensberg and shades of brown in Northern KZN), allows them to camouflage in the undergrowth really, really well.

They thrive in grassland and savanna areas.

On this occasion, it was in a garden, in a situation where it could easily have been stepped on!

Puff Adders are responsible for many bites throughout South Africa and the rest of Africa.

Interestingly, research has shown more often than not, if stepped on, they won't bite. Of course you don't know if your luck is in or not.

"A friend of mine did telemetry tracking of Puff Adders. On more than one occasion, while trying to spot his signal-emitting Puff Adder in the Bush, he found it under his shoe! And they never bit him," says Nick.

2.5m Black Mamba casually slithers into Durban home

Imagine seeing a very large Black Mamba casually slithering into your home, through the lounge and down the passage, past your child's bathroom, and into a bedroom? It happened in Reservoir Hills recently, and Nick Evans rushed to the rescue.

Black Mamba in stables storeroom - where's Nick Evans?

During Lockdown Level 3, Snake Rescue's Nick Evans received a call to help retrieve a Black Mamba from a storeroom at horse stables on the KZN North Coast.

A large storage area full of big boxes and all sorts of things for a snake to hide under or behind-not an ideal situation for a snake catcher, but a great place for a Black Mamba!

Nick had lots to move at these stables. It was hard work in hot weather!

"The mamba was trying its best to stay hidden away from me, showing how these snakes would rather avoid conflict than have it."

Black Mamba in roof of Westville home

On this Snake Rescue call, Nick Evans went to remove a Black Mamba from a perfect mamba hotel. It was securely tucked away in a garage roof on a Westville property! The garage roof provided warmth and shelter, and probably the odd rat for the snake. And in the water drains below, along the roadside, were an abundance of Dassies, whose young are a favorite meal for Black Mambas. The property also had a nature reserve in the back yard. All in all, prime mamba habitat.

However, not everyone wants a Black Mamba in the garage roof, and so it had to go. But it wasn't going to go easy, as Nick was to discover!

Nick Evans, a power tool and an elusive Forest Cobra

This was a really exciting call out for Nick Evans because it was for a snake he hadn't caught in years - a Forest Cobra!

"This snake really played hard to get, and it took a few trips to actually catch it. On one of those trips, we worked for ages, doing proper manual labour. It all paid off in the end!" recalls Nick.

* More from Nick: Forest Cobras are a beautiful snake species found on the KZN North Coast, and become more and more common further north. So not a snake we see around Durban. And unlike our Durban cobra (the Mozambique Spitting Cobra), Forest Cobras do not spit. Nice for the likes of me! They have an interesting, two-toned color appearance. The front half is a yellowish-brown color, and it darkens towards the tail end. The tail end is pitch black. They have a shiny appearance. Like all of our cobras, they are highly venomous. They can also hood up, impressively, too. But if given half a chance, they'll flee, not wanting confrontation.

You can sleep lekker now': Nick to the rescue in Bellair

Snake Rescue's Nick Evans received a call from the Bellair area of Durban, and he could hear some panic in the background. There was apparently a really big Black Mamba in a shrub between two properties. "When I arrived, this snake decided to make my life difficult - it went into the roof of the one property- a high roof at that!" recalls Nick.
"Luckily, the residents were very helpful, and we also had many eyes scanning to see if the mamba came out. Still, as you will hear, that didn't make it any easier! My heart was thumping during this!"
Listen to Nick's Bellair adventure below.

Nick Evans to the rescue as hungry mamba sniffs out pet birds

Black Mambas do enjoy a bird or two for lunch. When this mamba sniffed out caged parakeets, it couldn't resist popping in for a meal. However, it all went wrong for the snake. Not only did it not catch a meal, but it managed to get itself stuck! This was quite a challenging and stressful rescue for Nick Evans!

*Multiple birds were kept in multiple properties bordering a valley (mamba habitat). A mamba visitor was inevitable. Please don't panic if you have a pet bird, especially if you do not live on a property bordering a reserve or valley, as the chance of a mamba coming for it is slim.

Puff Adder ventures into KZN factory

In the latest Snake Rescue podcast, Nick Evans is called back to a factory at Cato Ridge, outside Durban, where he’s been for a snake rescue before. Previously, Nick was called out there in the early hours of one morning to capture a decent sized python. On this particular day though, there was a different kind of snake - a highly venomous one at that - a Puff Adder!

"It had ventured indoors and into a place where the snake could bump into humans, with an unpleasant outcome for both potential parties," says Nick Evans.

Puff Adders have a potent cytotoxic venom, which causes tissue damage and pain, so avoiding a bite from one is ideal.

"They bite a number of people throughout Africa each year, not intentionally. These are ambush predators. They lie in wait for their prey to come past.

"Unfortunately, because even small mammals use our pathways, these snakes occasionally lie on or next to pathways. This is when a bite can occur," says Nick.

Needless to say, he needed to remove it, for everyone's safety.

Listen to the details in the latest Snake Rescue podcast below.

Green Mamba at Sibaya construction site

In fairly recent times, Snake Rescue’s Nick Evans has been called out twice to the same construction site in the Sibaya area of the KZN North Coast, to remove Green Mambas, both on scaffolding. “As completion of the development neared, I figured that's it for the Green Mamba calls from there. Well, I was wrong, and a third was in store for me,” says Nick.

Green Mambas are generally restricted to the KZN coastline, in the lush, coastal forests, seldom venturing further inland. However, their habitat is constantly being destroyed, and so with fewer spaces to live in, they often end up in weird places, like this!

“Green Mambas are highly venomous, with a mostly neurotoxic venom (affecting the nervous system). They are shy snakes, which are not often seen due to their arboreal (tree-dwelling) habits,” says Nick.

“I am so grateful the staff at this construction site had a call rather than kill policy! I think they've completed their building now, so now there should be no more mamba excitement with them, much to my disappointment!”

Nick Evans and the mystery of the missing hamster

Hamsters are cute little pets. However, snakes don't see them that way. To some snakes, hamsters are a very tasty snack. In the latest Snake Rescue podcast, with Nick Evans, he deals with a case where a black mamba picked up the scent of a pet hamster, and moved in.
"A young man had been 'hamster-sitting' his little sister's pet while she was away. You can imagine the shock and horror he experienced when he went to check on it, and found a black mamba in the hamster cage, with a bulge in the middle, and no hamster.
How does he explain that to his sister? Awkward," says Nick. Listen to the details here.

The funniest black mamba call-out for Nick Evans

The highly venomous black mamba snakes don't usually inspire much laughter in those who come across them. However, in the crazy world of Snake Rescue's Nick Evans, this was the case one evening in Durban.
"I was called to Reservoir Hills, for a black mamba hiding among some clutter in a space between two walls. It sounded easy enough. I might need to move things, but the mamba surely had nowhere to go. Right? Wrong!" recalls Nick.

"This turned into a very difficult catch. However, despite being frustrated at times, I was kept smiling by the residents, who kept cracking jokes!"

Take a listen to what went down in the latest Snake Rescue Podcast with Nick Evans.

45 episodes

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