Black Mamba Bite: Why it has Enough Venom to Kill 19 Humans & How to Treat It

Written by August Buck
Published: April 25, 2022
Image Credit Andre Coetzer/Shutterstock.com
Share this post on:
Think You Know Snakes?

You may have already heard of the Black Mamba, but have you considered just how powerful the Black Mamba bite actually is? This snake is regarded as one of the most venomous and dangerous snakes in the entire world, but just how potent is its venom, and what can you expect after getting bitten by the notorious Black Mamba? 

In this article, we will address the Black Mamba and the way it attacks humans in detail. We will discuss How much venom is actually in the bite of the Black Mamba, as well as their defensive styles and techniques. Finally, we will discuss what you should do if you happen to be bitten by a Black Mamba. Let’s get started and talk about this dangerous and elusive snake now! 

Why is the Black Mamba Bite So Powerful?

black mamba bite
Depending on the age of the snake, most black mambas deliver an average of 100 mg of venom per bite, and they have been known to produce as much as 400 mg in a single bite.

NickEvansKZN/Shutterstock.com

Can You Ace This Quiz?

Will you be the 65th?

There are a great number of reasons why the Black Mamba bite is so powerful. Not only can the snakes reach over 9 feet in length, they are notorious for behaving in an aggressive fashion when cornered or otherwise threatened. They are capable of raising their bodies into the air, as much as 40%, and they also bite multiple times in quick succession. 

Another reason why the Black Mamba is so dangerous is the fact that its bite does not produce any swelling or pain. In fact, the bite of the Black Mamba has been studied for its analgesic effects and the fact that it does not produce pain to its victims. However, this leads to many black mamba injuries going unnoticed or otherwise untreated, given the fact that they don’t hurt. 

How Much Venom Does a Black Mamba Bite Have?

black mamba bite
Given the fact that the Black Mamba venom is primarily neurotoxic, it produces a wide range of symptoms and struggles in the human body.

NickEvansKZN/Shutterstock.com

In the grand scheme of snakes, the Black Mamba does not have nearly as much venom as other species. However, given the potency and overall excess of venom that is still delivered by the Black Mamba, it is an incredibly dangerous bite. Depending on the age of the snake, most black mambas deliver an average of 100 mg of venom per bite, and they have been known to produce as much as 400 mg in a single bite. 

Given the fact that the Black Mamba venom is primarily neurotoxic, it produces a wide range of symptoms and struggles in the human body. These symptoms and adverse effects can occur within ten minutes of being bitten. Combined with the fact that most victims do not notice when a Black Mamba injures them, it truly makes the Black Mamba one of the most dangerous snakes in the world! 

Do Black Mambas Bite Repeatedly?

black mamba bite
There are multiple cases of snake bite victims that note just how many times the Black Mamba bites them.

Cormac Price/Shutterstock.com

Just to add insult to injury, not only does the Black Mamba have a potent and dangerous bite. It also frequently bite more than once. There are multiple cases of snake bite victims that note just how many times the Black Mamba bites them. Many interactions occur with multiple bites happening in extremely quick succession. 

Another reason that the Black Mamba is so dangerous is the fact that it is an extremely quick snake. Not only can it strike multiple times in quick succession, it can also flee or pursue a threat at up to 12 miles per hour, making it faster than most people can run!

What Animals Do Black Mambas Hunt?

black mamba bite
The Black Mamba hunts in a swift and efficient fashion. It bites its prey and slithers away, allowing its potent venom to do its job.

Copyright Tad Arensmeier CC BY-SA 3.0 – License

Given the fact that Black Mambas are so venomous and dangerous, they are considered an apex predator in their environment. Their only threats are birds of prey or other animals with venom resistance, such as the mongoose. Black Mambas frequently hunt the following animals: 

  • Birds
  • Hyraxes
  • Bush babies
  • Bats
  • Some snakes

The Black Mamba hunts in a swift and efficient fashion. It bites its prey and slithers away, allowing its potent venom to do its job. This helps the Black Mamba avoid injury and harm to its body, and most prey perishes within 10 to 15 minutes. 

How Do Black Mambas Interact with Humans?

black mamba bite
Once a Black Mamba addresses or locates a threat, it has a very elaborate defensive position and exhibition that it puts on.

iStock.com/Nicole_Marschall

Like all snakes, the Black Mamba prefers to be left alone. In fact, many studies mention that the Black Mamba rarely lets humans get within 100 feet of it, and for good reason! Once a Black Mamba addresses or locates a threat, it has a very elaborate defensive position and exhibition that it puts on. 

Not only can the Black Mamba rise up into the air like a cobra, it also hisses and fans out a narrow hood, very similar to a cobra. Given the fact that the snake is powerful enough to launch and strike from a distance, it is best to always leave Black Mambas alone, or any type of snake for that matter! 

Even though the Black Mamba isn’t found throughout Africa, it is a diurnal snake, which means it is awake during the daytime. It also inhabits a wide variety of habitats, making its interactions with humans more likely. This is something to keep in mind if you are ever hiking or traveling in an area where the Black Mamba lives. 

How Do You Treat a Black Mamba Snake Bite?

black mamba bite
Whether or not you feel the pain from a Black Mamba bite, it is necessary that you go seek medical treatment as soon as possible. 

reptiles4all/Shutterstock.com

As with any snake bite, particularly venomous snake bites, going to a hospital after a Black Mamba bite is key. One of the main reasons why the Black Mamba is so dangerous is because the majority of its fatalities are from bites that never received antivenom or hospitalization treatments. Whether or not you feel the pain from a Black Mamba bite, it is necessary that you go seek medical treatment as soon as possible. 

An interesting thing to note about snake bites of this type is that using a tourniquet can help prevent the venom from spreading throughout the body. However, this is only a temporary fix, and antivenom is always necessary to prevent fatalities in a Black Mamba bite. 

Discover the "Monster" Snake 5X Bigger than an Anaconda

Every day A-Z Animals sends out some of the most incredible facts in the world from our free newsletter. Want to discover the 10 most beautiful snakes in the world, a "snake island" where you're never more than 3 feet from danger, or a "monster" snake 5X larger than an anaconda? Then sign up right now and you'll start receiving our daily newsletter absolutely free.


Share this post on:

More from A-Z Animals