Deadly Black Mamba Found Under Family Christmas Tree: “Shocked”

A family was “quite shocked” after finding a deadly black mamba hiding under their Christmas tree in Queensburgh, South Africa. The six-and-a-half-foot snake slithered up and down the festive ornament before curling up behind a speaker at its base.

“Santa left me an early Christmas present,” snake catcher Nick Evans said in a Facebook post about the incident. “I wish it would have been waiting for me in the tree. That would have made for some cool photos!”

See posts, photos and more on Facebook.

Comments below the post suggested other Facebook users were less enthusiastic about the venomous reptile.

“Christmas would be canceled after that,” said one user.

“Someone in this house was on Santa’s cheeky list,” said another.

The black mamba is one of the deadliest snakes in the world. Its bite can release a fast-acting neurotoxin that can kill a human in as little as 20 minutes by shutting down the victim’s nervous system.

The snakes are native to Africa and can be found in savannas, rocky hills and open forests. However, they can also sneak into residential areas while looking for prey such as rats and feral kittens, and sometimes wander into people’s homes when looking for a place to hide.

Black mamba
An archive image of a black mamba. A family was “quite shocked” after finding a deadly black mamba hiding under their Christmas tree in Queensburgh, South Africa.
StuPorts/Getty

Black mambas are quite shy snakes, although they can become aggressive if cornered.

Evans said it was this shyness that drew the black mamba into the family home in the first place.

“The snake was outside when it was disturbed by the gardener. Then she pulled away from him in fear, saw the open door and ducked inside.

“From there it went up the Christmas tree and onto a small shelf above. Then, while I was out, it slid back down the tree and hid at the foot behind the speaker.”

This isn’t the first snake to find itself under a Christmas tree this year. In early December, a non-venomous keelback snake was found hiding among presents at a home in Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia, and a few weeks later a cat in the same area brought her family an early present in the form of a deadly red-bellied cat black snake.

Rest assured though: Evans said it was an unusual place to find a snake, at least in South Africa.

“This is one of the most amusing places I’ve found a mamba,” he said.

Do you have an animal or natural story to tell? news week? Have a question about snakes? Let us know at nature@newsweek.com.

https://www.newsweek.com/newsweek-com-deadly-black-mamba-under-family-christmas-tree-shocked-1769215 Deadly Black Mamba Found Under Family Christmas Tree: “Shocked”

Rick Schindler

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