Thursday, May 30, 2024
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Relief in Netherlands as ‘escaped’ mamba never left home

THE HAGUE (AFP) – The Dutch city of Tilburg breathed a collective sigh of relief on Friday as a highly venomous green mamba thought to be on the loose was found safe and sound in its owner’s house.

Tilburg has been on edge since Monday when the serpent’s owner alerted police that “he was missing a snake”.

Police issued a mugshot of the “very dangerous” two-metre-long coiled green mamba, warning people to stay indoors and under no circumstances to attempt to ensnare the snake.

The snake’s fate has been national news in the Netherlands – despite media competition from a historic election – with herpetologists regularly quoted on TV and in papers.

Authorities deployed sniffer dogs and snake experts in vain for days, before the breakthrough on Friday: the mamba had slithered behind a plaster wall.

The snake was “alert and active”, said biologist Freek Vonk, who helped with the search. “It was able to drink enough water and is in very good health.”

Despite police reassurance that the cold-blooded snake was unlikely to slip out into the chilly Dutch winter air, many residents had barricaded themselves inside.