My Startling Encounter With an Enormous Green Snake


800px-Mamba_Dendroaspis_angusticepsIMAGE: By H. Krisp – Own work, CC BY 3.0,

One day, when I was a teen, I was chatting to my neighbor one day while we were sitting on two low flower boxes on the opposite sides of a pathway at our house in the coastal city of Durban. It was at the height of a very hot and humid summer. While we spoke, I had my hands behind my back holding onto the edge of the flower box.

I noticed that there was something which felt like a tuft of lichen or moss beneath my fingers, I absentmindedly squeezed… then thought that the “moss” seemed to somehow contract and expand! After repeating the squeeze and feeling the strange stretch and contract motion, I eventually leaned back to take a peek at the strange phenomenon and what I saw, sent an icy shiver down my spine… There was a deadly green Mamba snake’s body running from the base of the wall, all the way up, to where my finger were wrapped around it’s two inch thick body, only two inches from its mouth!

All this time my friend kept yakking non stop. Finally I managed to get his attention and it must have been the expression of terror on my face, rather than my whispered words that finally spurred him to action.

I explained my predicament to him and asked him to move around the flower box and help me free my hand. When he finally got there he shuddered noticeably and said that I should count to three then yank my hand free as fast as I could.

I remembered that I was about to start counting when he suddenly lunged forward and firmly shoved me away from the snake. It all happened so fast, I was not sure whether the snake managed to bite me in the process. My friend made a dash for a nearby brick and managed to kill it in the nick of time since the snake had suddenly turned on him and was inches away from his leg and biting him in stead.

After a quick inspection of my hand I was happy to not find any telltale puncture wounds and so, we both managed to live to tell the tale. The Green Mamba, or African Tree-snake is not as aggressive as its brother, the Black Mamba but what it lacks in aggression, it is lightning fast. A two metres long adult like that on, is extremely lethal.

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Content by Andre’ George Hartslief ©2016 all rights reserved

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  1. Grecy Garcia

    This is the first time I learned about the name of a snake, Green Mamba. I am scared of snakes but the one of the picture seems appealing to me because it is very green, it calms my eyes. I think I can look at this kind of snake but I will never touch it.

  2. ANDRE' G Post author

    Would you like to read about some more close encounters I’ve had with snakes and other dangerous things? I have accumulated a whole bunch of them, over the years. A few, are guaranteed to scare you out of your witts! They all have a central theme running through them, namely they are all 100% authentic!

  3. ANDRE' G Post author

    The western green mamba (Dendroaspis viridis), which is also known as the West African green mamba or Hallowell’s green mamba, is a long, thin, and highly venomous snake of the mamba genus, Dendroaspis. This species was first described in 1844 by the American herpetologist Edward Hallowell.
    The western green mamba is a very alert, nervous, and extremely agile snake that lives mainly in the coastal tropical rainforest, thicket, and woodland regions of western Africa. Like all the other mambas, the western green mamba is a highly venomous elapid species. Its venom is a highly potent mixture of rapid-acting presynaptic and postsynaptic neurotoxins (dendrotoxins), cardiotoxins and fasciculins. Some consider this species to not be a particularly aggressive snake, but others have suggested that they are extremely nervous and are prone to attack aggressively when cornered. Conflict with humans is low compared to some other species found in the region. Bites to people by this species are quite uncommon. The bite victim’s mortality rate, however, is high; and the recorded bites have been fatal. Rapid progression of severe, life-threatening symptoms are hallmarks of mamba bites. Bites with envenomation can be rapidly fatal. Case reports of rapidly fatal outcomes, in as little as 30 minutes, have been recorded for this species.

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