There were hugs and jubilation when the now-infamous toilet snake was removed from a toilet in Glenletta Court in Lynnwood Glen, Pretoria, on Tuesday.
"It was a huge relief to the people," Tshwane Metro nature conservationist Hencke Marais said. He and his colleague, Gerhard Horn, finally got the venomous snouted cobra out of the toilet on Tuesday morning.
The large snouted cobra was first spotted in a toilet in one of the building's apartments on November 24.
"This was a large specimen and he was most definitely deadly. He can release a large volume of poison," Marais told News24.
He said he had removed many cobras from toilets. They liked tunnels.
The one slithering through the Glenletta Court's pipes had managed to make its way to the first floor, which Marais said was "quite a climb".
The only way to get a snake out of a pipe was with one's hands, Marais said.
"You have to get your hand behind its head and gently pull it out bit by bit. It uses its tail like an arm or leg and will grab hold and not let go."
He said he used a hook stick to press the snake's head against the side of the toilet bowl, then got his hands on it. They pulled it free and got it into a bag.
After measuring the snake and determining its sex, it would be taken to the Dinokeng Game Reserve, about 60km from Pretoria, to be released.
"He got his ticket out of here now," Marais said.
He warned people against trying to catch or handle snakes. He advised them to rather contact their local zoo or snake park.
Attempts to get the snake out on the day it was first spotted were unsuccessful.