WATCH | Snake handler struggles to remove a full-bellied black mamba from a stack of pallets
The black mamba is a species of extremely venomous snake, a member of the family Elapidae native to parts of sub-Saharan Africa. First formally described by Albert Günther in 1864, it is the second-longest venomous snake after the king cobra; mature specimens generally exceed 2 metres and commonly grow to 3 m (10 ft). Specimens of 4.3 to 4.5 m have been reported. Its skin colour varies from grey to dark brown. Juvenile black mambas tend to be paler than adults and darken with age.