Black Mamba

Black Mamba – Leave Me Alone!

Black Mamba illustrated by Ravenari


Looking into the abyss, being feared, the emotion of fear, terror, leave me alone, using fear to keep others away, threatening because you feel threatened, notoriety, death incarnate, prepare to strike, a willingness to do anything to protect yourself and loved ones no matter what the consequences, anxiety, wrestling with your fears, aggression, fighting back, wanting different perspectives on a situation, having hidden sides to your personality, protecting yourself.

General Description:

The black mamba is the longest venomous snake in sub-Saharan eastern/southern Africa, their name is for the inky black colouration inside their mouth which they show when threatened; externally they are dull coloured. They are thought to be the fastest snake in the world. They inhabit savannah, woodland, farmland, dense and open forests, swamps, grassland and rocky slopes; though they generally prefer more arid, hilly environments. They will often shelter in abandoned termite mounds and hollow trees. They are generally shy and secretive, primarily diurnal and rarely arboreal, though they climb easily. They prey on bushbabies, hyraxes, rodents, snakes, bats and poultry. They primarily rely on their eyesight, their tongue, and ability to sense vibration to gather information. Males will fight, sometimes wrestling for more than an hour, over females during the breeding season which occurs in early Spring. Juveniles are hatched from eggs that have been guarded aggressively by the female. Newborns possess the same strength neurotoxin as adults, and have caused death in humans.

The black mamba is a ‘notorious,’ deadly snake that is feared, respected and loathed worldwide, having a reputation among snake experts for being aggressive, explosive and very venomous; untreated bites have a mortality rate of 100%. They prefer to flee threatening situations, but when cornered or badgered they become extraordinarily aggressive. They are often killed on sight in Africa where they face a lot of human persecution, and usually need more than three or four people to successfully and safely despatch it. In areas of sugarcane farming, they are known to bask at the top of sugarcane and wait for prey, which has resulted in dangerous human/black mamba encounters. In legend, it has been claimed that the mention of its name can cause profound anxiety in people. It has been attributed magical abilities.