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The Black Mamba, Africa’s most venomous snake

Filed under: Special Comments |

Many people think a black mamba is the same as a cobra.

No these are two different snakes. A black mamba is not actually black it’s greyish and does not spit nor bulge its neck like a cobra.

A giant mamba is called Lukonkola in Ila or Rovambira in Shona, Ngoshe in Bemba, Mubobo in Nyanja and Mulala in Tonga.

A mamba marks its territory and any intruder in its territory is attacked and pursued it can run 20km per hour. It can bite about 10 people in a role.

A victim of a mamba’s bite dies within 10 to 30 minutes.

On the other hand, a cobra is a very “diplomatic” snake, it warns before attacking , it hisses, spits and bulges its neck.

In Tonga its called Nkombola, in Shona Mhungu, in Nyanja Kapapasha.

If the intruder stands still, it runs away, but if it is cornered it will have no option but to strike. The victim dies within three to 24 hours.

A snake bite should be treated as an emergency. Unlike other species of snakes, never take herbal medicine as first option for a mamba bite, rush the victim to the nearest health centre within 20 minutes, the mamba’s venom has prompt neural-cardiac effect on the victim which means the venom infects the nervous system and the circulation system within minutes.

Avoid wandering in thick shrubs as such environment is the resting places for mambas. Cobras prefer open grasslands and fields hunting mice and lizards.

Before you rest in the shed make sure you check up the tree as mambas can jump down to attack any intruder.

I know most of us town dwellers have small farms in the villages and spend weekends working in the villages, remember that there are other creatures which claim ownership of space in your fields and shambas.

– Zambian Eye – Original


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