Mozambique spitting cobra gives Westville cat a lesson in the dangers of curiosity

A metre-long Mozambique spitting cobra.

Mozambique spitting cobra captured in the courtyard of a Westville home after it spat in the eyes of a cat. Picture: Nick Evans

Published Jan 3, 2023


Durban – A cat is recovering after a Mozambique spitting cobra spat in its eyes in the courtyard of a Westville property on Tuesday.

Local snake catcher Nick Evans said the metre-long Mozambique spitting cobra had been his first call of the day.

He said the snake was in a garage in Westville, bordering the Palmiet Nature Reserve.

“It was in the courtyard when the cat approached it. It spat in the cat's eyes, chasing it off, before taking cover in the garage,” he said.

Evans said he found the snake under a shelf and it was a quick and easy catch.

He said a thorough rinse of the cat’s eyes with water helped with recovery and a vet could perform a similar procedure.

“I really do admire this species ability to defend itself. It is remarkable. However, I dislike being on the receiving end of it, very, very much!”

In a review of 2022, Evans said dog-versus-venomous snake incidents were far more common.

  • About 10 mamba cases were recorded.
  • Incidents involving Mozambique spitting cobras and stiletto snakes were common.
  • With stiletto snakes, most of the snakes were killed, and while dogs were bitten, they recovered with veterinary care.

“I didn't record Mozambique spitting cobra bites, but many cases of them spitting in dogs' eyes – defending themselves. This is easily treatable, compared to a bite,” he said.

He said 2022 was another successful year of rescuing snakes from people's homes.

“All sorts of species were saved … we are seeing more people each year call for snakes to be relocated, rather than just killing them.Thanks to those who call, and well done to all who educate (people) and rescue snakes.

“I had many exciting and thrilling calls, which I'll remember forever,” said Evans.