7: MOZAMBIQUE SPITTING COBRA:
The Mozambique spitting cobra (Naja mossambica) occurs throughout eastern and central Southern Africa, from KwaZulu-Natal to the Tanzania-Mozambique border. It is the most common savannah-dwelling cobra in its range. Reaching an average length of 3 feet/ 1 meter, it varies in colour from slate blue to olive or tawny brown on top. The pink or yellow-purple underside features distinctive black bars on the throat. The Mozambique spitting cobra preys on frogs, small mammals, birds and even other snakes, and can spit venom with impressive accuracy up to 10 feet/ 3 meters. It is nervous in temperament and quick to defend itself against perceived threats. As a result, it accounts for the majority of serious snakebite cases in Southern Africa, although fatalities are rare. The cytotoxic venom causes pain, swelling and tissue damage. If anti-venom isn’t administered quickly, victims may be disfigured for life.