This hair-raising video shows how a fearless snake catcher gently traps a highly-venomous black mamba slithering around a man’s tool shed.
Jason Arnold, a snake expert from South Africa, talks fondly about the juvenile animal throughout the video and says it is "always ready to bite".
The scaly reptile is clearly desperate to escape but Jason manages to remove its hiding places on the shelf and scoop it up in his hands – later rehoming it at a nearby nature reserve.
Rightly terrified, the unnamed resident found the black mamba, a species of extremely venomous snake, coiled up behind car parts at his home in Avoca Hills, Durban.
Talking about his unusual job later, Jason said: “I have always been intrigued by snakes, but only at the age of 13 was I properly ‘introduced’ to them by a friend of mine at the time.
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“From that point on there was no looking back. My entire working career from 1997 until now, I have worked with these fascinating animals either at snake parks, reptile parks or on my own.
“I'm currently self-employed and I run a professional snake removal or handling service.
“I'm not afraid of snakes at all, but I do have respect for them. I've had many close shaves with snakes, including being hospitalised three times in the last 27 years from snake bites and venom in the eyes.
“I've had a black mamba fall on me while trying to catch it high up in a tree. I've had a python bite me in the face and had thousands of bites from harmless or mildly venomous snakes.
"The biggest and most dangerous snake I've caught to date was a 3.1m black mamba. I carry out around 15 to 20 rescues per week.”
Black mambas are actually brown in colour and get the name from the inky blackness of their mouths.
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They are highly aggressive and have the ability to strike their enemies repeatedly, with venom in every bite.
Black mamba-related deaths remain common in rural parts of eastern Africa where antivenom is not always readily available.
Last year, Judge Anton Steenkamp, a South African national, was killed by a black mamba bite while he was holidaying in Zambia, dying before anti-venom could be given.
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