Friday, November 18, 2005


I was wondering about my laundry, and needed to check on it in the laundry room. So as I'm walking out from the back porch, I hear a rustle on the ground next to me (maybe 2 feet away). Probably a frog or lizard right. I glance over and see a FOUR-FOOT (no, I am not exaggerating... exaggerating, I'd say it seemed more like 8!) COBRA slithering towards the laundry room. I didn't even stop for a second glance! I turn around sprinting through the house to call the guard to come. (Derek, this one's for you!) As I recall (though some - ok fine, all would beg to differ), I ran through the house calmly saying, "Ah. I am alarmed." I yelled for our guard (Gilbert Khalala) and told him to come quickly because of a large snake. He ran over, and found a long stick (10-15 ft.) while we got the flashlights. The snake was hiding in the shadows behind the laundry room, so we couldn't tell where it was. When we got the flashlights, it started to come out towards Gilbert. He attempted to hit it several times, and eventually (it seemed to take an eternity) killed it. It was still moving, however, so one of the ladies shouted from the porch, "It's not dead! Kill it!" My dad replied, "It's dead." in a reassuring voice, to which my cousin Amanda replies, "Well kill it more dead!" So we pinned it with the stick, and my dad bashed the head with a large rock. As you can see it is now, definitely, "more dead." We discovered it was a cobra after we killed it, when we saw a wide neck, and a fang roughly an inch long! Praise God we did not have to discover it was a cobra by any attack on the snake's part! We're all (at least physically) fine, though I'm really thinking quite seriously about that huge gap at the bottom of my door!! Not to mention the scorpions we've seen this week (no, I'm not kidding!)!
written by Steve Ripley

Ok guys this is a true story, I witnessed the whole thing. To be honest all these bugs and squirmy things are starting to get to me. I can handle big poisonous spiders and rats but when it comes to snakes get me out. The day after we found this, there was another one was found by my hut. I'm telling you if one of these ever gets into my room I'll be on a plane quicker than you can say snake. We identified the two we have seen so far and they are both poisonous, a spitting cobra and a green mamba. Here's an interesting fact: if a spitting cobra gets venom in your eyes (which it aims for) the only one to neutralize the poison is to flush your eyes with either milk of urine. There is not a lot of milk here so that leaves urine. Apple juice anyone?
P.S. Steve screamed like a girl and a higher octave than I could ever reach :)

If you look close you can see it's 1 inch fangs!
We have found 2 scorpions now, I guess we'll start wearing shoes. Yes mom that's my hand.
It really was 4 feet here's the proof
Glenn smashing it with a rock to make sure it's more dead.


Anonymous said...

this is soo cruel poor snake, how do you not know whether that is an indangered species!!!!!


Anonymous said...

How ignorant...

Firstly...who identified the green mamba? show a picture. Then the fang size you mentioned for both species is way exaggerated. And as for urine or milk.... you can use any liquid....water will work just as well. Any bland liquid works the just need to flush the venom out.

Anonymous said...

Its not a green mamba, its a black mamba - that's how it goes out there - one does not allow snakes to hang around where one is - flushing venom great, I'd rather avoid getting bit by killing it

John Fairbairn Wallis said...

There are both Green Mambas & Black Mambas in Africa, no?

Does anyone know anything about Myooye Community of Mumbwe area? Tell me everyrhing, esp about what they could use as far as tools used to assist or suppliment agriculture for food? Is cultivating soil difficult, could say a single mother of 8 kids make money if she had a gas run rototiller to rent out to people? Or if everyone in a village had a small business like tool rental or computer to rent or barter? Are these feasible "small businesses" for single moms to help her and her family?

Also, would it actually get to a single mom if it was fedexed to the nearest airport? Someone said, things like big boxes are usually stolen? Any ideas or advise would be appreciated, thank you John

Bradley said...

Hi there

I lived in Zambia for tow years and had alot of encounters with snakes. It is sad when they need to be killed but sometimes there is no other options for those that are not able to rellocate them with out geting bitten.

The spitting cobra you mentioned and the picture you posted leads to believe its a Black neck spitting cobra (naja nigricollis nigricollis). It was the most common snake I found in zambia and is grey with a black neck. If it "spits" in your eyes it will hurt like hell but just wash out for around 15min with water. Can use milk but I advice sticking your eyes under a running tap.

About the green mamba would be nice to see photo to confirm. Very unlikely though....

Just stay safe :)

generic cialis said...

Hi, well be sensible, well-all described

Anonymous said...

Bradley, I've lived in central-southern Africa all my life and I've literally seen hundreds of green mambas. Most commonly in Swaziland but I've seen plenty in Zambia too.

And with regards to the people outraged with the idea of killing snakes - people are the dominant species here. And they will kill anything to remain so. At the end of the day, if theres a chance that an animal might kill you / your children / your workers / your pets / your livestock... Guess what? You kill it.

Thats life. Get used to it.

Scream_out said...

Totally unnecessary and barbaric.
The actually fact you posted an image of it being bashed is a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

Meat for the braai!! Poisonous snakes MUST be killed on sight as their toxins can kill a human in less than an hour. Mambas kill in 20 minutes. So the choice is very clear when confronted with thos kak creepy crawlers. Then kill them dead again for good measure :)