Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mamba Snake

UK Student Killed by Mamba Snake, they bite in South Africa.

The body of a young British wildlife enthusiast, who would have celebrated his 29th birthday today, was flown back to London last night after he was bitten by a deadly black mamba snake in South Africa.

Nathan Layton was taking part in a year-long training programme to fulfil his dream of becoming a game ranger when he was bitten by the snake, Africa’s most deadly, at a safari college on the edge of the Kruger game reserve.

British wildlife student dies in front of girlfriend minutes after being bitten by black mamba snake

Mr Layton was walking in the grounds of the South African Wildlife Campus in Hoedspruit with teachers and other students taking a safari field-guide course organised by the nature group Bushwise when the attack happened.

A British wildlife student has died after being bitten by a snake in South Africa.
Nathan Layton, 27, was walking in long grass with a group of fellow students and teachers when the black mamba struck.

He was comatose almost immediately and died moments later as his girlfriend, 23-year-old Laura Woolley, looked on in horror.

Mamba Snake.

The black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) is a highly aggressive and venomous elapid snake. It is the largest venomous snake in Africa and the second largest venomous snake in the world. Only the King Cobra is larger. Adult black mambas have an average length of 2.5 meters (8.2 ft) and a maximum length of 4.5 meters (14 ft). The black mamba receives its name from the black coloration inside of its mouth, rather than their skin color which is a gray to olive tone. The black mamba is reputed to be the fastest moving snake in the world, and has been claimed to move at up to 20 km/h (12.5 mph), but these claims are based on studies of dubious accuracy.

A single bite from a Black Mamba may inject enough venom to kill from 20-40 grown men, easily killing one unless the appropriate anti-venom is administered in time. When cornered, they will readily attack. When in the striking position, the mamba flattens its neck, hisses very loudly and displays its inky black mouth and deadly fangs. It can rear up around one-third of its body from the ground which allows it to reach heights of approximately four feet (1.21 meters). When warding off a threat, the black mamba usually delivers multiple strikes, injecting its potent neuro- and cardiotoxin with each strike, often attacking the body or head, unlike most other snakes.

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