Nature "Black Mamba" on WXXI-TV

Nature "Black Mamba" on WXXI-TV

Sun, 07/31/2011 - 8:00pm
Pictured: Philane, who staffs the reptile park oversaw by Thea and Clifton Litschka-Koen, educates and entertains local communities about the mamba in NATURE’s Black Mamba.

Credit: Courtesy of ©2009 WNET.ORG Properties LLC and Tigress Productions Limited

Nature goes to Swaziland to track Africa’s deadliest snake.

A team of herpetologists hopes to change public perception of one of Africa’s most feared snakes, the black mamba.

Nature "Black Mamba" airs Sunday, July 31 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV  (DT21.1/cable 11/cable 1011).

The black mamba is one of Africa’s most dangerous and feared snakes, known for being aggressive when disturbed. Rearing up with its head four feet above the ground, it strikes with deadly precision, delivering venom that is packed with three different kinds of toxins 10 times more deadly than needed to kill an adult human. Without treatment, the mortality rate is 100 percent. Until now, little has been known about the black mamba’s natural behavior in the wild because, in Africa, most people kill a black mamba on sight and feel lucky to have done so. But in the tiny country of Swaziland in southern Africa, a team of snake handlers has an entirely different “take” on these creatures and hopes their six-week study will change public perception of what they feel is the world’s most misunderstood snake.

For 27 years, NATURE has been the benchmark of natural history programs on television, capturing the splendors of the natural world from the African plains to the Antarctic ice. The series has won more than 450 honors from the television industry, parent groups, the international wildlife film community and environmental organizations, including 10 Emmys, three Peabodys and the first award given to a television program by the Sierra Club.

This program is offered with Descriptive Video (DVi), which provides concise descriptions of the sets, scenery, costumes, action, and other important visual elements between the dialogue of the program.