Sometimes you take a name so much for granted that you never question where it comes from. Well, we live in a neighborhood of Monrovia called Mamba Point, and it turns out it is named after, well, the mamba snake.
Black mambas are the largest and most dangerous venomous snake in Africa. They grow up to an average of eight feet (2.5 meters) and travel up to 12 miles per hour (20 kilometers per hour). Their skin isn’t actually black; rather it is their mouth that is black.
Black mambas are aggressive snakes that don’t hesitate to strike. They spring up and strike their victims on the head. They can strike up to twelve times, but even one strike contains enough venom to kill a dozen men within one hour. (And there is no hope of surviving without anti-venom.) Of course, most of their prey are smaller, so they usually only have to wait a few minutes for the venom to kill their prey.
Fortunately, I’ve never seen one in my neighborhood. I doubt that there are too many living around here anymore, as the area has become quite developed and heavily populated. I imagine there were more mambas in the past when the area was less urban. I’d be curious to know if anyone has seen a mamba in Mamba Point.