Western Green Mamba

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Is the Western Green Mamba right for you?

Species group:

Other common names: Hallowell's Green Mamba; West African Green Mamba

Scientific name: Dendroaspis Viridis

The basics:
In common with its relatives, the fast-moving Western Green Mamba produces highly-toxic venom and strikes repeatedly when cornered. Nearly all documented bites have proven fatal. Many zoos hesitate to exhibit this species, which of course is completely unsuitable as a “pet”!

The Western Green Mamba is native to West Africa, where in ranges from Senegal to Benin.

This highly arboreal snake favors coastal rainforests, but is also to be found in heavily-wooded savannahs and overgrown thickets within suburban parks and villages.

Appearance / health:
The Western Green Mamba is very slender in build and reaches a length of 1.4 – 2.4 meters (4.6 - 7.9 ft). The body is bright to yellowish green in color, with black skin showing between the scales. The tail is often yellow.

Zoo specimens are nervous and stress-prone, and do well only in large, heavily-planted exhibits. Captives have reached age 18.

Behavior / temperament:
In the confines of zoo exhibits, Western Green Mambas are often on the offensive, as flight options are restricted. Zoos generally utilize shift cages in order to limit the possibility of bites.

It is impossible for a private snake owner to adequately prepare for or treat a venomous snakebite, or, prior to a bite, to arrange for treatment in a hospital.

Western Green Mambas actively hunt for frogs, lizards, bird eggs, and arboreal mammals such as bats and squirrels. Zoo animals are fed rats and mice.

Males battle for mating rights in the spring. Females produce 5-20 eggs, which hatch in 70-90 days, 2-3 months after mating. The youngsters measure 35-45 cm (13-18 in) in length.

Written by Frank Indiviglio


venomous snake keepers, great display snake


deadly invasive species, powerful venom, human deaths

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