This is how sniffer dog Murdoch managed to find the poisonous green mamba

The escaped green mamba held Tilburg in its grip for days. But sniffer dog Murdoch managed to find the snake after some detective work. Snake expert Walter Getreuer trained his dog to detect these types of snakes. He is happy with the good outcome and happy with the addition to Reptielenzoo Serpo in Rijswijk.

The escape of the slippery beast kept people busy in the city for days. Even biologist and TV star Freek Vonk got involved in the disappearance of the animal. It later turned out that the animal was hiding behind a plaster wall in the owner’s house.

“That snake goes through a crack and the snake is gone”

According to Getreuer, the snake was kept in a terrarium with sliding windows. “These are annoying things, because you can open them a little and close them a little. The owner probably accidentally closed the window a little too hard and a small crack appeared. Such a snake feels with its tongue and nose that there is a crack. It goes through a crack and the snake is gone,” says Getreuer.

The terrarium was located quite high in the house, so the animal easily managed to climb upstairs. “There were spotlights at the top of the ceiling, one of which was off. There was a hole there and the snake crawled into it. Then it hit a double wall. So he could crawl through the entire room behind the wall,” says Getreuer.

“Eventually Murdoch sat down at one of the holes.”

Snake expert Getreuer was called and went to the house with his sniffer dog Murdoch. “He initially searched the entire house. And nowhere could he detect the scent of the snake. In the snake room, but that makes sense. In the end, the dog did not indicate where exactly the snake was,” says Getreuer.

He asks the owner to drill some holes in the plaster walls, so that the dog could also smell what was behind the wall. “We put a mesh over it so Murdoch could safely sniff around those holes without getting bitten,” Getreuer said.

“We taught him that if a snake is within one and a half meters, he will sit down. During the search we went to all the holes and eventually Murdoch sat down at one of the holes.”

“He donated the animal to us, also as a gift for our help.”

At the spot where Murdoch sat down, the owner further demolished the plaster wall. “There appeared to be heating pipes. That’s the only warm spot in the wall, and the snake likes that. But because of all the demolition work, the snake had crawled back up.”

The wall was further demolished. “And then the snake was less than a meter from where my dog ​​Murdoch had pointed it out,” says a proud Getreuer. He is proud of his sniffer dog and happy that it turned out well. “The owner was so shocked by everything that he got rid of the animal. He donated the animal to the reptile center, also as a gift for our help.”

The green mamba now slithers happily through a terrarium far outside Brabant. And the animal also has a partner there, hopefully that will keep the animal safely in place.


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