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“Race Against Predation: Cobra’s Pursuit of a Lizard Interrupted by a Life-Saving Car”


This is the incredible moment a cobra and a lizard were caught in a mid-way battle in Kruger National Park, South Africa.

A surprise hunting photographer captured the action from a car just meters away.
The king cobra is a highly venomous neurotoxic species endemic to South Africa. They are mainly nocturnal but can often be encountered during the day, as seen in this encounter.

Photographer Helen Young told her story: “In April of this year, I went on a solo trip to Kruger when my husband went hiking. I left Shingwedzi camp when the gate opened and went down to Letaba. Not too far down the road, I came across a very strange looking shape in the distance and I couldn’t figure out what it was. I slowly approached and was surprised to discover a giant cobra (snout cobra is consensus) trying to take down a large screen lizard.”

“The lizard showed great strength as it pulled the snake up the road. I don’t want to move my car in case I see snakes – this means they’ve come too close for comfort (at one point both were partially entwined under my car). ”


“As time passed, I could see that the lizard was planting a flag. It has obvious bite marks on its neck and it is covered with venom.”

“Unbelievably, though, the lizard was able to break free from the snake’s jaws a few times and get out quickly. Unfortunately for the lizard, the snake caught it back (once in the face). This went on for a while and eventually the lizard stopped moving.”

“Finally, a car sped past scaring the snake (under my car). I stayed quite a while with the monitor lizard to see what would happen next. The lizard was motionless on the road except for a few flicks of its tongue. I suspect it turned out to be a road killer but at least it should eat something eventually.”

“I am so glad I caught this interesting scene on film to share with others!”


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