A professional snake catcher felt a newfound pang of anxiety when he found himself stuck at a tollgate while transporting a 7-foot black mamba.
Jason Arnold shared with Newsweek that he has grown used to spending time with deadly snakes during his career. But he finally realized how terrifying they are when he was on his way back from capturing a mamba, one of the most venomous serpents in the world, and he realized he was trapped with it.
After retrieving the snake from a home in Tongaat, South Africa, he began driving to another client’s house. And as he approached a tollbooth, he realized that he wasn’t carrying cash. He only had cards.
“Having the black mamba in the car was not the issue at all,” Arnold said. “I travel with venomous snakes in my car all day every day because that’s what I do for a living. The issue was the road I was on was one-way leading up to the tollgate and I realized I can’t just turn around and go the other way. I just felt really stressed and desperate and anxious. It was a horrible feeling.”
Snake Catcher Pleads with Guards to Let Him and the Black Mamba Through
When Arnold reached the booth, he tried paying with a credit card, but the guard said it was impossible. Then the next driver in line offered to pay the snake catcher’s way through, but for some reason, the guard wouldn’t allow it. Instead, the guard made Arnold reverse his car and drive against traffic until Arnold found a place to park.
When Arnold was able to pull over, he dug through his car hoping to find some money.
“Of course, I didn’t find any cash,” he continued. “So I sat there thinking ‘what am I going to do?'”
Arnold knew he couldn’t spend eternity stuck on the wrong side of a tollgate with a deadly black mamba in tow. So he decided his only option was to appeal to the guard’s senses while putting on pressure. So, he drove back to the booth and turned on his phone camera.
“I thought it would force him to be a little bit more professional about it,” he admitted. “And I thought maybe he would then allow me through. And that worked.”
When Arnold spoke to the guard, he explained that he ran an “emergency service,” and he had someone with a snake in their house waiting for Arnold. He said he absent-mindedly drove that route because he knew it was the fastest route to the address. And he didn’t remember that he didn’t have cash until it was too late.
He had to speak to a manager before he made it through the other side. But “luckily, all went well.” Arnold made it to the next house before that snake disappeared, and he didn’t have any troubles with his deadly passenger along the way.