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Samwise
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Location: Madikwe, SA
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13-11-10, 08:22 PM
#1

Not something you see every day (Snakes)

No great photos here unfortunately, but I did find this really interesting.
I have worked in this reserve for the past 16 odd years and never seen this.

Snakes are very common here and we see the big and nasty ones frequently. My staff complained about a Black mamba basking on some bushes a few meters from the path they need to follow to work (unreasonable bunch).

I went to chase it off and found this:



As I got closer, I could see something was not right. He was 2 meters or so long, but a happy, healthy mamba never turns his belly up, especially when he is so exposed.

I followed his head down into the thick bush and was very surprised to see that he was in the jaws of a Mozambique Spitting cobra. Disturbed, the cobra let go and retreated to the base of the bush to wait for his prey to die so he could have lunch.


(Unfortunately the photo is not very clear, but if you follow the body of the mamba down from the top right corner, you can just see the cobra below and to the left of the centre)

The effect of the venom (a lethal cocktail of cytotoxic and neurotoxic venoms) was very obvious – although he had been released, the mamba did not move off, but moved closer to the cobra. The damage to the area and effect of the cytotoxin can be seen on the mamba.





Unfortunately I lost both of them in the bush (I didn’t want to disturb the cobra, if he left, the mamba would have been wasted) so I never saw the end of the story, but it’s safe to assume the cobra had himself a big lunch!
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13-11-10, 09:19 PM
#2

Re: Not something you see every day (Snakes)

Thanks for sharing the story Sam - what an adventure your life must be
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14-11-10, 08:20 AM
#3

Re: Not something you see every day (Snakes)

Wow. Yes, I can make out the cobra with the mamba in his mouth quite easily in the 2nd photo.

How big was the cobra? if only half the size, how is it going to manage the full mamba?
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14-11-10, 10:49 AM
#4

Re: Not something you see every day (Snakes)

I'm not too sure how big the cobra was, but judging by the size of his head, probably around 1.3 meters or so. They are really good at swallowing much bigger things than expected and getting them all in (even if it takes some time!)
Kit 1
Canon 7D
Canon EF 70-200 2.8 L IS USM
Canon EF 17-40mm 1:4
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14-11-10, 06:16 PM
#5

Re: Not something you see every day (Snakes)

Wow! What a sight! Poor mamba though - still I expect Mr (or Mrs) Cobra got a nice dinner out of it!

xx
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