Highly venomous snake could be “behind toilets” or “under bed sheets” in north London, missing posters suggest
A black mamba snake – one of the world’s most poisonous reptiles – is reportedly missing in Camden.
Missing posters have been put up on lampposts and walls saying that the pet, named Rosie, has been on the loose since January 5, and that she is likely looking for somewhere warm.
It advises people to check under car sheets, behind toilets, inside washing machines, and perhaps most alarmingly, “under bed sheets”.
“She is highly venomous,” the poster says. “If you see her do not attempt to handle her”.
The posters give a phone number. But London Loves Business called the number to try and find out more and it appears the number is not currently working.
So is it a hoax, or is there really a lethal runaway snake slithering abut in north London?
Missing pet poster. There is a photo of the snake, to help us distinguish it from the indigenous WC1 snakes. pic.twitter.com/0oWw9SKSum
— Prof Sophie Scott (@sophiescott) January 12, 2016
The RSPCA is investigating the posters, and said that it is legal to keep the snakes, but due to their venomousness, special licences are required.
Black mambas are actually brown in colour, and the name comes from the dark blue-black on the inside of their mouths which they display when threatened. They are pretty nippy too – the black mamba is one of the fastest snakes in the world, capable of a top slithering speed of 20km/h, which is faster than the average speed of road traffic in central London, and indeed faster then most human people can run.
A single bite from a black mamba contains enough venom to kill 10 people. The snakes are also capable of delivering several rapid bites in one attack.
Black mambas can grow to be 14 feet long, and in the wild, they live about 11 years.
According to the National Geographic, a black mamba bite can be fatal in as little as 20 minutes if the bite is not treated with anti-venom.
Snakes kill an estimated 90,000 people a year across the globe, and in Africa, where the black mamba originates, an estimated 20,000 deaths occur each year.