A Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) wildlife officer has died after being bitten by a black mamba in the Tunga Forest of Sichifulo game management area.
Enock Musiyalela, 48, was bitten by the snake, while he was in the company of three other officers on an operation around 11:00 hours on Friday.
According to ZAWA senior wildlife warden for Mumbwa, Phanwell Moonga, Mr Musiyalela who was on patrol met his fate about 15 kilometres from the main base.
“He stepped on the snake and it rose and struck him just above his boot in the Mulanga sector,” he said.
Mr Moonga said the Mulanga Sector stretches from Sichifulo to Sichili in newly-created Mulobezi district.
“From the time of the bite, it took time to arrange for transport and other logistics to rush the victim to hospital and on the way to the base, around 16:00 hours the gentleman could no longer walk,” he said.
Mr Moonga said all this time the reptile’s venom was taking full effect and the time the transport arrived from Mulobezi the victim had already died.
Mr Musiyalela’s body is lying in Mulobezi District Hospital mortuary.
Black mamba attacks are not very common in Zambia. In 2009, a four-year-old boy of Munguwabuto village in Chief Chipalo’s area in Luwingu district died instantly after being bitten by an unknown snake.
The boy’s mother narrated that that her son, who was playing with friends, went to relieve himself not knowing that there was a snake in the toilet. She said the snake bit him on the head as he was trying to enter the toilet.
The mamba is a highly venomous snake which is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa.
Despite its common name, the black mamba takes its name not from the colour of its scales, but from the interior of its mouth, which is inky-black.
It has a coffin–shaped snout and is the longest species of venomous snake in Africa, and the second-longest venomous snake in the world after the king cobra.
The mamba’s venom is highly toxic; potentially causing collapse in humans within 45 minutes, or less.
Without effective anti-venom therapy, death typically occurs in seven to 15 hours. Its venom is chiefly composed of neurotoxins which directly attacks the central nervous system of the victim.
SAKABILO KALEMBWE- Daily Mail