Black Mamba
Video: Catching a Deadly Snake

Thea and Clifton respond to a call from a maid who spotted a six-and-a-half-foot black mamba inside a guestroom at a resort they manage. They want to remove it from the area — but first they have to find it.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.
  • Hussain

    Shoot! So that happens when we leave our rented rooms for a while. Sankes are hunted and cleaned without us, customers, being informed.

  • Thea Litschka-Koen

    So the secret is out! The customer was never told…didn’t think it would be good for business.

  • ericka hamburg

    how great that they called these people instead of lashing out at the snake. best scenario possible.
    hope snake gets back to where he (she) belongs.

  • Sean Bush

    Nice catch Thea! Looking forward to seeing your show tomorrow night!

  • Thea Litschka-Koen

    Thanks Sean!

  • E.J.

    it so nice to see you or catching the snakes and not just killing them

  • mike

    Wow great work thea! Is this a young black mamba? 6.5 feet seems to be a bit small for a full grown black mamba. I have been told that the average length of an adult black mamba is about 7.5-8.5 feet long. Anyway thanks and keep up the good work of saving both mambas and peoples lives

  • alyson

    Hi Thea,

    I am familiar with the black mamba as I lived in Phalaborwa for a few months on a wildlife reserve.

    There was one spotted near our camp while I was there.

    I am assuming your resort is in SA somewhere? I recognized your (Afrikaans) accent.

    Exciting video! Thanks for sharing it.

  • Thea Litschka-Koen

    Hi Mike,
    Thanks! It was just about 7 foot long and yes, they average about 7.5-8.5 feet. The younger ones are always fun to catch, lots of attitude to make up for lack in size!

  • Thea Litschka-Koen

    We are based in Swaziland but I did go to school and varsity in South Africa, must be where the accent comes from. Glad you liked the video.

  • Shame

    Lol sorry Got to laugh! I also loved the (afrikaans) accent especially the yeah baby part… ;)

  • Thea Litschka-Koen

    Shame please remember I am a white WITCH…

  • Shame

    This was the best day by far!!!! hahahaha

  • eshaan duggal

    nice way of catching snakes

  • Annie Davis

    Hi Thea,
    i am fascinated by snakes all the beautiful colored ones. I never miss the opportunity to watch the shows on snakes. I am particularly happy that you captured the Mamba before he captured the guest. Keep up the good works on educating people on snakes.

  • Victor Mena

    Hello my name is Victor I currently house a gorgeous adult pair of mambas the female has been bred I was wanting some fact as to their breeding and courting behavior so i may duplicate them for future breedings I would also love to share pics of them with you let me know what u think thank you

  • John

    I live in the USA and we get rattlers that do that. We use shirts and our hands and sometimes the spine of our knives. Those mambas must be a whole lot feistier if a stick with a claw at the end is needed.

  • Maddog

    I was phobic of snakes for 50 years, including my trip to So. Africa to video a safari for my physician. He had shot a Nyalla and our professional hunter was leading us to where the animal had dropped. Luke was a big guy with a big booming baritone voice, but he shifted into falsetto as he squeaked out, “Oh, look- a mamba!”

    Doc told me to walk closer and get video. I said I could zoom in from where I was! She was coming towards us, but then dove into a hole about 5 meters away from me. I looked down at my feet and saw more holes! I declined the suggestion that I fetch a piece of shed mamba skin next to her hole.

    You guys are very brave to be able to catch one!

  • Aaditto

    Hey, Thea and Clifton…

    That looked like a VERY dicey job, very well done in the end!

    For one moment there – when I saw the hugeness and lithe power of the mamba beginning to make things uncomfortable for Thea – just when she says “I am out of control here” – my heart missed a beat! … Of course her relieving affirmation of regained control follows almost immediately!

    I run a project in the wilderness, with a guesthouse, in far away India (

    We have a number of poisonous snakes on campus – who sometimes do get into spaces where we don’t want them.

    I love and respect snakes too much to let them be beaten to death – which is what people usually do when they find one here!
    So, I’ve had to train myself to catch them – so that I can take them back to the wilderness…

    I was wondering… what is the last thing you did, in this clip? After you had ‘bagged’ the snake, why did you twirl it up like that?… To restrain it farther, I am guessing.
    But wouldn’t there be a risk of injuring the snake’s spine, in the process?

    I tend to get very worried about hurting the snake – and I know that this endangers my own safety in the process – when I have to catch a large poisonous snake!
    I am a completely self-trained amateur – so your advice will be invaluable here!

  • Mike Perry

    Hi Thea & Clifton

    I am so glad that the snake courses I did for you has paid off…..this is what I like to see…..snakes being rescued….

    I must come and visit you sometime again but I have been extremely busy with snake courses in South Africa as well as the rest of Africa. I have visited 6 different countries this year and I have another country to visit as I have a booking in Mali, West Africa in November.

    Anyway I will let you know when I plan to take a break….and visit you.

    All the best with your work in Swaziland.

    Best regards
    Mike Perry – African Reptiles & Venom

Produced by THIRTEEN    ©2014 THIRTEEN Productions LLC. All rights reserved.

PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.