Black Mamba
Introduction

The black mamba is Africa’s deadliest snake. Untreated, its bite has a fatality rate of 100 percent, making it a killer among killers on a continent where it is thought that nearly 20,000 people die of snake bites each year, and the residents of Swaziland in southern Africa have suffered losses for generations. With essentially no access to anti-venom, many people turn to traditional healers for help, but their herbal remedies always fail, leaving Swazis feeling fearful and defenseless against one of their nation’s most infamous killers.

Swaziland resident Clifton Koen doesn’t really care for snakes, but his wife, Thea Litschka-Koen, is crazy about them. With her husband’s sometimes reluctant help, she has endeavored to change attitudes about black mambas and other snakes found in the area. In addition to starting the nation’s only reptile park, devoted to educating the public and providing a refuge for the animals, the two have become the region’s go-to experts for safe, humane snake removal from homes, schools, resorts and workplaces. In the course of catching and relocating any number of snakes per day, Thea and Clifton give impromptu lessons about the snakes, covering fact and fiction, and do their best to prevent any unnecessary casualties – human or reptile.

In addition to their other efforts, Thea and Clifton developed a program designed to track black mambas in the wild for the first time and to gain new insights into their behavior. With the help of a snake expert from Johannesburg, they were able to surgically insert radio transmitters in a number of captured black mambas, allowing them to follow the snakes after their release. If their research pays off, they may be able to show that their relocations are working, successfully removing snakes from residential areas for the long term, and thereby bringing some relief to the locals and some respite for the snakes.

Black Mamba premiered October 3, 2010.

Photo by Andrew Yarme © Tigress Productions

  • Shaun

    This sound like what I do at the Cape. If you need assistance Id be happy to relocate.

  • Mike

    Interestng!

  • Anne

    This looks awesome! I can’t wait to see it! I remember when Steve Irwin did that show about the world’s deadliest snakes and the Black Mamba was one of the worst. I think snakes are just so pretty.

  • Terry

    I lived in Swaziland for a little over 2 years working as a doctor. We saw many snakebite victims but never mamba victims – they died before they got there. I could not tell what region of Swaziland they were working in. Was it Simunye or Big Bend? It was a great story with lots of amazing closeup work. I had a mamba go up on my porch while I was at work and one of the old Swazis killed it with a stick. We had lots of mamba stories and my blood runs a little cold even thinking about them. Thanks!!

  • peter ewanick

    I think someone should offer a reward for every dead black mamba. I feel sorry for the children and families who have to live in fear of these snakes. They seem to feed off a lot of birds not rodents, so i dont understand their usefulness. Their population is growing and if reduced i dont think anyone would miss them. If i won the lottery i would offer a reward. thanks

  • Elizabeth Danker

    I agree with Peter Ewanick. I don’t understand the usefulness of the Black Mambas either. I am not happy with their growing population!

  • Michael Flynn

    Fascinating program and what a courageous couple, Thea in particular being totally fearless. I took many hikes in South Africa with a snake bite kit just in case.
    As an anesthesiologist I had no idea you could pass a breathing tube and anesthetize a snake. The answer was in the film and they made such a dangerous maneuver look so easy.
    Incredible application of scientific methods to help humanity and nature. I would love to visit them and have recorded the program to share with my children. Truly a compassionate couple.

  • Shame

    @Peter and Elizabeth. What use are elephants to us? Maybe we should kill all of them too or bring their numbers down? What use are dolphins? Maybe we should do an anual round-up in nets and bring their numbers down. Or what about homeless or needy people maybe we should cull them because they are not usefull! Your statements are completely ignorant and infantile.And please indicate what research shows an increase in the number of black mamba populations anywhere. They may not be of great use to us as a society as a whole or even make a very big impact in an ecosystem but they still play a part in the balance of life.And deserve the respect and protection that is afforded to other more “popular” animals. I do not agree that black mambas are such a severe threat as they have been made out to be and the number of bites has been greatly exagerated. So I do not agree totally with what the documentary is showing but I’m not going to sit by and accept completely uneducated remarks like those ones passed above.

  • Peter E.

    Hey Shame, maybe you did not see the program, these people are terrified of them. When you start to find them in your homes and hotel rooms, to me, they are a real deadly threat. About the elephant population, unfortunately I believe they are on the endangered species list because of their ivory tusks so their population is very low and not a threat to human life.. Dolphins are not a threat to human life. In Texas they have an annual rattlesnake round-up to curb their population. In North America any threat to human life by an animal or reptile would not be tolerated. If you do not believe they are a real threat, ask yourself, would I sleep in one of their homes? would I let my children play in their backyards? I know I wouldn’t. I believe when you start to find these snakes in homes on a regular basis, educated or not, I would bet that there are too many of them. The difference with these snakes is that there are no warning signs they are around like a rattler. I have know problem making them extinct unless someone can give me good reason to change my mind. thanks Peter

  • Mike L.

    As I watch the PBS special while typing this, I am amazed at the daring couple’s attempts to capture and even track them with transmitters. While I do agree that destroying an animal that appears to have no “value”, to arbitrarily kill them is not the answer either. Perhaps in time, htere might be a discovery that even a venomous snake may prove to have medicinal properties as with similar poisonous animals. As for the numerous deaths, perhaps it is the humans that are encroaching upon their territory more than the other way around. In many countries, even poisonous animals may prove to be a delicacy. Who knows, perhaps someday an over population may prove to be used as food.

  • Shame

    Elephants were on the endangered species list but their numbers have increased to such a point in some countries that they are actually starting to cause devastation and regularly encroach on subsistance farmers crops and even kill these farmers sometimes, also in the Kruger national park elephants are killed to keep their numbers from exploding (cull). In Africa more people die from hippo attacks than any other animal does this mean we should kill all te hippos.I am not afraid of black mambas and I have caught and rescued many over the years, they are not aggresive killers like their reputaion makes them out to be. And to state that they should be made extinct is completely unfounded. The only reason people are so terrified is because they don’t know any better and this can only be changed through education. With regard to warning these snakes may not offer any audible warning but they do move away as fast as possible when approached and as a percentage, the number of black mamba bites compared to any other African snake is less than 2 percent, so they are definately not a major threat to human life. Here you have a better chance of being killed by a cow or donkey than you do of dying from a mamba bite. These snakes are highly strung nervous snakes and at the same time one of the most intelligent snakes in Africa. They deserve protection.

  • Estelle Jennings

    I can only say one word – AWESOME – you guys are doing an amazing job! Instead of negating the positive work you are doing, the critics should give you well-deserved praise and encouragement. Keep it up and I am looking fwd to the watching the next documentary!

  • DCfred

    Wow, Thea is an amazing woman. Her efforts to educate people are reaching far beyond Africa: after the show was done, I did Google searches for black Mambas and Swaziland…I was simply left wanting to know more!

  • Mike

    Shane I agree 100 percent! Black mambas for the most part will retreat from humans if given the chance. They are highly intelligent nervous snakes that deserve are upmost respect and protection. And before anyone says that I am only saying this because I do not have to life with them, well your wrong. I have lived in India and South Africa, two countries that have huge snake bite problems. I have seen many dangerous snakes in and around my property including black mambas, and I even had a dog get killed by a Russells Viper[ which is imo the most dangerous snake in the world] in India. Yet I still see the need and understand the importance of snakes. I think the work that Thea and her husband are doing is great for both reptile and humans alike, and I pray that their will be a day where anti venom is widely available in swaziland, so that peoples lives can be saved.

  • Patrick

    Destroy every last one of these dangerous vermin.

  • Clive

    Fantastic work by both of you, must say for someone who is supposed to be scared Clifton looks like he is pretty much on the front line there LOL. Well done the both of you.

  • Patrick

    Shame:Why don’t you grab one of these creatures that you obviously worship and hold it to your face?

  • Shame

    On a daily basis…lol

  • carly

    how are the black mambas made how were they discovered. And wat states do they live in?

  • carly

    wat the heck y do you worship them soo much i mean if you wnt to get on then go out and find one then email me back if your not dead alredy from being soooo stupied that that snake is ganna put you in the hospitl

  • carly

    wat the heck y do you worship them soo much i mean if you wnt to get one then go out and find one then email me back if your not dead alredy from being soooo stupied that that snake is ganna put you in the hospitle

  • Thea Litschka-Koen

    Same by your comments it sounds as if you are in Africa and work with snakes including black mambas?

  • Xcorps

    Just watched BLACK MAMBA and it made my skin crawl! Call me Clint Eastwood but instinct tells me if this snake comes into my home I ask my friend Remington for some help! 20 thousand families of snakebite death per year in Africa will agree! Didn’t see one shot of the snake eating rodents or any other pest!

  • Thea Litschka-Koen

    I have been trying not to get involved in this argument.. Almost every day I fight the same fight, try and explain the same thing…The 20 thousand families could NOT SURVIVE without snakes. I work with snakebite victims and families who have lost children. husbands, mothers etc to snakebite and it breaks my heart but I also understand that without snakes the whole cycle of life will be out of balance. Very few snakes eat birds (the film crew were just unlucky and didn’t get a shot of snakes feeding on rodents). Without snakes in the sugarcane, the rats, mice and cane rats would destroy the cane. Without snakes in the maize fields, the crops would be destroyed by rodents and people would starve. More people die every year from bee sting than from snakes, we can not eradicate all the bees!
    What we need, is improved medical facilities to deal with snakebite. Dying from a snakebite is totally, totally unnecessary! It’s barbaric what is happening in Africa. All you have to do is compare the stats between your country and mine, have a look at the medical facilities you have available and compare it to mine. Don’t blame the snakes, bees, scorpions, spiders, sharks…they are just doing what they were created to do.

  • Moeen H.

    Patrick,

    Thea is right. Killing something off is sometimes seen as a simple solution to a complex problem. However, reality is not simple. For example, in Vietnam, people did exactly what you are suggesting: kill off the snakes. The problem is, when people did that, the rat population blew out of control and their rice crop seriously suffered. Guess what they did to solve the rat problem? They reintroduced the snakes.

    In the future, don’t be so blase about recommending killing off an entire species to solve a problem. Humans have already caused many species to go extinct and as a result the environment, including us humans, have suffered.

  • joy z.

    I think it was wierd -looking when the people put the radios in the snakes but other than that I enjoyed the show. Its scary that they killed so many people. Thea was really brave. If I went to catch snakes I’d faint. snakes freak me out for some wierd reason. I was wondering why they put the radios inside the body instead the of outside? Plus if the snakes wern’t here I would freak out because mice and other rodents would overwelm us I’d move to another planet.

  • Herb Dow

    Which country is the home of the Black Mamba snake?

  • Neil Wright

    Fantastic show! I really enjoyed it SO MUCH! I’ve been an amatuer herpetologist since I was a little kid (here in the US) and I’ve always been particularly fascinated by the venomous snakes. It’s simply brilliant that an animal like a cobra or mamba, weighing in at just a few pounds, can back off a full-grown elephant because of a survival adaptation like venom.

    Unfortunately, it’s hard to show people that something so scary can be good for them and a necessary part of nature’s balance. Bunnies and deer and eagles are pretty, so obviously we should protect them, but snakes, bees, spiders and skunks are ugly and offensive, so they don’t deserve to live… (sigh). The rattlesnake ’roundup’ in Texas each year (mentioned above) is one of the most offensive examples of this cavalier attitude towards the aspects of nature that people don’t understand. The ironic thing about these stupid shows is that the rattlesnakes that are caught are the ones that rattle when approached, giving themselves away. As a result, we’re beginning to have a problem in the US with our deadliest snake, the western diamondback rattler, because with the removal and/or destruction of the ‘noisy’ ones, the breeding is being taken over by the ones that don’t warn anyone where they are, resulting in MORE snakebites and hence MORE hatred toward the snakes for a problem that a bunch of ignorant people have created solely for the purpose of making money and cheap thrills.

    Keep up the wonderful work, Thea. I hope there will be another show done about you and your family soon! I and my family will look forward to it!

  • Kapuu

    We need more stories about these scary black mamba

  • pattriot45

    Mrs Koen, is it possible to capture the mambas that you find in homes and designate each individual one to the poor communities in africa. Keep it there, take care of it and use it for antivenin when someone in the community is bitten. Perhaps train one of the locals the in the art of making antivenin. Is that financially feasible?

  • SNAKELOVER21574

    I LOVE SNAKE AND I THINK PEOPLE SHOULD JUST GET OVER IT AND LIVE WITH THEM, THEY WILL NOT HURT YOU IF YOU DON’T MESS WITH THEM. I HAVE GOTTON BIT BY A SNAKE BEFORE I KNOW THAT IS A PAINFUL AND SCARY THING TO DILL WITH BUT WE JUST NEED TO GET OVER IT AND START PROTECTING SOME OF THESE SNAKE AND LOVE THEM.

  • Miller

    I’m thinking here in the U.S. we’re doing just fine mangaging rodents without venomous killers prancing free. Hey Africa here’s a thought: replace the mamba with a less venomous or non toxtic snake if your worried about collapsing the beloved eco-system. The company I work for has been involved in SA and afforded me the privilege of contracting agreements. That is how this black mamba was introduced to me. There I was appauled at the needless fear some of the residents of SA live through, such a threat to the greater good should not be jeopardized. Whether the medical facilities are incompetent or not, anything as mobile and deadly to whereas it can inflitrate your home with sudden notice is dangerous and should be dealt with accordingly. Someone had the right idea earlier, and I for one wouldn’t have any problem wiping these creatures off the face of earth.

  • J.C. Ebbing

    Unbelievable that anyone should think intentionally killing off a species could be a good thing. Human beings are by far more toxic, ubiquitous, and prolific than mambas. And certainly a greater threat to life on this planet. Should we drive US into extinction? I have a neighbor with a severe rat problem on his property.
    And not a week goes by he doesn’t kill… a rat snake! How do you get that type of thinking?

  • Carolyn

    Wow i find the Black Mamba just fascinating. They are so elegant these snakes and demand respect. Ive always loved snakes since i was small… i find them mysterious. Great documentary!!

  • Richard

    Thats not what they did in Vietnam.They just ate more rat.

  • mike

    I just watched the show. I too assist in the removal of snakes from human habitats ( mostly genus crotalus) in the US. I have both tremendous respect and compassion for you and your husband for what and how you conduct yourselves. And the research opportunities is marvelous. You are absolutely “spot on” with your efforts. This isnt about altruism – its about doing what we can to maintain the approximate balance. You’ve chosen an amazing animal with which to work – what I would give to accompany you for a week !
    May I ask what happened to one of the original four returnees – was it “Triggs”? You mentioned he had passed very early on. And secondly, when I watched you “recover” in the squatting position after securing the first mamba, I could so identify.
    Thank you for what you are doing and for participating in such a wonderfully informative program.

  • GrumpyOne

    This is just plain crazy! Ecology gone nutz!!

    Here in Texas, there are many varieties of snakes and out of these, only four are poisonous. The most common are rattlesnakes for which residents have a very low tolerance. The other is the cottonmouth which posses problems with stock tanks on ranches etc. The other two, copperheads and corral snakes are less of a hazard simply because the former is uncommon and the latter is not aggressive.

    Despite the widespread persecution, the rattler is not in danger. Even so, there are dozens of non-poisonous species, (rat, king, etc),would provide excellent rodent control should the population of the rattler be substantially reduced.

    If the black mamba were to vanish in Africa, it would provide a vacuum for other species to replace them. Certainly, to protect the black mamba in populated areas is just plain crazy

  • Parukia

    i agree with some of the people, yes, indeed Humans are the most dangerous species on the planet. We take down many trees, we pollute the atmosphere, we take up waaayy to much space, pretty soon, Planet Earth will be over it’s carrying capacity, and will wipe many humans off it’s face with famine, drought, and the lack of recources. we may think we’re all great, but to mother earth, we’re a virus, soon to be eliminated
    if you don’t know what i’m tlaking about, take up Demography
    Parukia high shcool sophmore

  • Donnie Davison

    Here in New England we are working to import the Black Mamba and enhance its survival in our immediate environment. This doesn’t make much sense on the face of it, but we cannot otherwise make life grueling enough for ourselves, so this seems like a natural evolution of our insanity.

    The next step (of course) will be to make the anti-venom so highly taxed and expensive that its availability will be almost nil (except for state officials, of course!).

  • kofi

    how can u work as a doctor in swaziland.

  • george

    Dear grumpyone, your referal to other non-venomus snakes to replace the venomus ones to take care of any resulting rodent problem, the king snake would have a problem with this. King snakes only eat other snakes. That is why they are called King snakes. They don’t care if the intended meal is venomus or not. The King cobra also eats both venomus and non-venomus snakes. Nether of these snakes are apparently affected by venom. Perhaps they hold a better anti-venom secret in their DNA than any we might make injetting horses. I hope I have not jeapardized either snake by pointing this out. Texas, could you please leave the rattlers to their natural preditors – King snakes, road runners, turtles, hawks and piccaries. They need to eat and feed their young and killing off the great numbers of rattlers that you do affects more food chains than Mcdonalds.

  • Not a snake person at all

    It seems to me that this is a ridiculous argument. I am not a snake lover by any means, they give me the worst feelings of fear, however, they have just as much right here as we do. The snakes are not encroaching on our homes, we are encroaching on theirs. Just because we can, does not mean we should eradicate them. Every day man kind finds ways to manipulte our planet to his/her needs, why not just use our brain to find a way to live with it as it is and not make it “easier”, but enjoy what is here. FROM A DISTANCE It is my learned experience that these snakes only attach when they feel they are being attacked – they don’t search for us to eradicate us so why should we search for them and eradicate them?

  • Chorley

    Or another alternative is encouraging more Secretary Birds and Hornbills which are both snake hunters. As well as the Honey Badger. With creatures like this it’s good to know that an animal like the Black Mamba doesn’t have things all it’s own way. In saying that snakes are amazing creatures. I much prefer the large birds of prey though.

  • Saundra Sherwood

    Thankyou for your remarkable and important efforts and skill. “Agriculture encrouching on snake habitat”– the “habitat “-OUR PLANET–world and home of homo-sapiens-OPEN OUR EYES!!! — TOP PRIORTY!!! —OUR OCEANS–please read–it may be and most probably is too late-to resign to the obvious, well yes, but hang-in, I guess -it’s very sad.

  • Ophidiophobia

    Thea Litschka-Koen is a genuine hero. Clifton is courageous.

    “You’re a better man than I, Gunga Din.”

  • Spike D Punch

    We have a preventable hazard in the US that kills 50,000 people a year: automobiles. With better driver education and more stringent licensing requirements, maybe this toll could be reduced to 20,000, the number of Africans killed by snake bites every year. When they all start driving, they might be safer from snakes, but subject to another hazard. Loss of life is a tragedy, but maybe not entirely preventable.

  • Payvie

    Awesome team-work by Thea & Clifton, trying to save these intelligent snakes and educate the people about them. In June our cat got bitten by a rattle snake, he took it well, and I’m sure he’s not gonna go after a snake again. I later found the snake sleeping behind a flowerpot, so I grabbed it with grill thongs and put it in a bucket. The next day I drove 15mi into nature and let it go. I feel really good about this happy ending. :-)

  • Joao

    A huge black mamba has entered my garden and has been seen at night inside the chicken and duck nests. It has also been seen once in day time hidding in a bush. I am very worried about it and want to get rid of it removing it from my place. As I have small children who love to play freely arroung the garden which i am not allowing now and numerous animals (dogs, ducks, goats, chicken) Our plot has high wall all arround and I believe the mamba has entered through the gate) being her only way out.

    Can someone plase assist me in giving me some tips on hoe I can deal with this situation. And getting rid of this snake ? And in the future is there anything I can do to block the entering my property ? Thanks

  • Manja

    We found the skin of a black mamba this morning at the back of our house in Kampersrus Hoedspruit. We took the skin to the snake park and they identified it as a black mamba skin, the dry skin is about 4 cm thick. The skin is not dry and they reckon it was shed within the last couple of days.

    We have a rock and cement slope at the back of our house that has a couple of holes in it. This is were the skin was found however we did not find the whole skin just a couple of pieces that makes about 3 metres.

    As you can imagine we are petrified we have 4 small children ranging from 6 to 1. The reptile park want us to be on the look out for this snake however we do not feel comfortable with this at all as we know how dangerous this particular snake can be. What measures can we take to get rid of this snake? Is there a tipe of repellent we can use or please advise us with help?

  • Saxon

    This snake needs to be wiped out completely.

  • RWH

    the program sounds great, as for Peter saying in TX we have a rattlesnake roundup to curb their population he is 100% wrong. Tx has many rattlesnake rounds for one simple reason – $$$$$$ money. It is not designed to control the population as doing that requires the species to be game species (or managed) so you have an idea of what you are doing to the population. the round up is a horrible event, not because it kills snakes, but because it supports the butchering of wild animals in a carnival atmosphere, teaching the young of this country to disrespect widlife. If you want to manage a species or hunt, fine but that requires sound science not mis-information…

  • Sa’eed

    All primates have natural,often excessive fear of snakes. I must admit this monkey (me) just gets shivers down my spine watching this episodes time and time. I do not want to go to Swaziland, if I do, you bet I will have packs of Black Mamba anti-venom.

  • Lynnemd

    I have such respect for Thea’s courage. While I have handled a few non-venomous snakes and find snakes fascinating animals, Black Mambas terrify me. I hope the day will come where anti-venom for their bites will be more readily available to help those that live in wilderness areas. Until then, if I was a resident where they lived and one entered my home, I think I would be shooting first and making a phone call later – and I truly do love animals, even the scary ones – but these snakes are just so deadly….
    Any help here for Manja or Joao? Are there any natural barriers to use to fence a small area off that might be effective?

  • Frank

    The problem is not the amount of people bitten by the black mamba but it’s the mortality rate associated with a bite from this snake. It trumps every other snake in Africa and the world for that matter. A bite carries a fatality rate of 100% – so if you don’t get help and get it in time, you are certain to die. There is no chance of survival from a black mamba bite without the use of antivenom. That is what makes these snakes so dangerous and that is why they stand out alone as a menace.

    Puff adders cause more bites, but they carry a mortality rate less than 10% – so you have a 90% chance of surviving a puff adder bite even without treatment. This is just not the case with the black mamba. “AntiVenomSwazi” was set up specifically for black mamba victims because the death rate from a bite is just insane – 100%!! This is the highest rate of ANY snake in the world. No other snake on earth carries a 100% mortality rate except the black mamba. People have every right to fear this snake. I don’t think they should be killed, but there is no doubt that they are an absolute threat to the livelihood of Swazi’s and other Africans as a whole.

    Black mambas have been causing hell for a long, long time. I don’t think anyone can understand how intensely terrible it is to have a snake that can cause certain death with 1 bite crawling around, coming into your house, etc.

  • Alvin

    As a doctor who worked in Tanzania for close to 11 years, I can attest to the dangers of the black mamba. I dealt with all kinds of snake bites, including different species of cobra (Naja mossambica, Naja melanoleuca, Naja pallida, Naja nigricollis, Naja annulifera), vipers (Bitis arietans, Bitis gabonica gabonica, Causus rhombeatus), mambas (Dendroaspis angusticeps, Dendroaspis polylepis, Dendroaspis jamesoni), and other snakes.

    The worst envenomations were always black mamba bites. Most of the time victims were dead on arrival at the hospital as the venom of this particular snake is unbelievably rapid-acting. If the bite victims made it alive to the hospital they usually were already showing severe signs of neurotoxicity and it was normal to use 13-16 vials of antivenom on black mamba victims. Many times it was just too late and reversing the severe symptoms associated with a black mamba bite was just not possible. In the 11 years I worked in Tanzania, the only deaths that occurred under my care were two to forest cobras, three to jameson’s mamba, two to puff adders, and one to a black-necked spitting cobra. I had literally hundreds of puff adder bite cases, over 50 forest cobra bites and many, many black-necked spitting cobra bites but only a few deaths for each. I lost more than 27 people to black mamba bites out of about 35 cases over the years, most didn’t even make it to the hospital.

    There’s good reason that the black mamba is feared.

  • Clemens

    Wondering if there are n group of black mambas somewhere having this discussion about humans…hopefully they have more common sense that some of us with this trigger happy killem all attitude.
    Thankfully there are people protecting these animals and yes they might be deadly but as a south african I live in a country that I’m more likely to get murdered anyhow. The last time I killed any snake was when I was Grade 3 and that was because of a lack of knowledge.
    Respect them and learn to handle snakes when you live in a country just full of them might be the more sensible way to go.
    Hope and pray hospitals and clinics can get anti venom to the people more efficiently.

  • Alice

    For those wanting to kill off the mambas,

    1. It’s just not right. It really isn’t. I don’t care that they can be dangerous to humans, it is not right to make a species go extinct.

    2. They honestly don’t kill the most humans (snakes or animals in general) because they don’t get encountered the most. Did you know hippos are one of the most dangerous animals in Africa?

    3. If you guys had had your way, they wouldn’t be discovering right now a sedative that is just as powerful as morphine but without near as many side affects. All thanks to the Black Mamba. Talk about your short sightedness.

  • Serval

    So Human and Snake are feuding, and the question arises as to whether or not Human should kill Snake. Listen well to Cat, who is at least as wise as Spider.

    Some who hold Nature highly speak of right and wrong. They should know that it is not thus. To put Nature first is to know no right, and no wrong, only survive or perish. All advantages are only traits, and this one Human has, to look at Snake and say, “He will hurt others of my kind, so he will be killed.” is quite a special one. Those who say that this will drive Human to eventually kill himself off may have a point, but Nature tests all things, and the test of this thing is not yet concluded.

    Some traits, it is true, can be TOO good for their own good. (Such as the 100% kill rate on the venom of the mamba perhaps? No, I am speaking of Human’s inclination to aggressively protect his own kind, of course.) The delicate scales of Nature will tip all the way over, and right themselves with a new balance. The first animal to eat another animal rather than eating plants, for example (and without this forebear there would not be a Cat, and I for one am very glad there is a Cat). When the scales tip over, those who fall by the wayside shall fall. Those who can adapt, shall do so. This is Nature. If you do not want this, you do not want Nature.

    Human is not the only force of Nature to tip the scales over and cause mass extinction; he is simply the latest.

    Still, Human has this impulse to aggressively protect his own kind. There is some case to ignore this, if he believes this may come to destroy him. He has a choice. Shall his tombstone read, “Here lies Man: He refused to walk his own path.” or shall it read: “Here lies Man: Nature’s greatest experiment.”?

    An answer? No Cat anywhere ever gave anyone a straight one.

  • Rynhardt

    Hi there everyone, I am a farmer in south africa on the border of swaziland. I find it is easy for people to talk about something they have zero experience in, and just becuase you saw it on tv don’t mean nothing. On average I encounter about 2 mambas every mounth in summer, this is by far the snake I fear and respect most. Every encounter I had with these snakes they behaved agresivley and almost always will when encounterd. I have not been bitten by one as yet but given where I work if Iever do my chanses of survivel is 000.1% whitch explains my fear and respect for this snake. I have seen a cow die after 20 minutes after being bit.
    Even if I fear this snake I do believe it has its place in Africa, therefore I face that fear everyday and anybody that is for the extinction of this snake should rather just stay out of Africa.

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