This tiny dwarf mongoose may have bitten off more than he could chew when he came face to face with a deadly black mamba snake.
Safari guide Brett Horely was out with a group of tourists In Kruger National Park when he spotted the brutal battle.
He explains, ‘it was a hot summer afternoon and we had not seen much in the afternoon. We came around a corner and our tracker Duncan spotted a black mamba sliding across the bush.’
‘The black mamba was quite a long one and at first no one noticed that it was being followed by a dwarf mongoose.’
Dwarf mongooses are very common in most parts of Africa, and can be largely found in woodlands and grasslands. They live in a complex network of underground burrows and are known to eat rodents, birds and snakes. But this very large black mamba snake was quite a bit larger – and a lot more fearsome – than the average mongoose lunch.
Black mamba snakes can grow to be 4.5 metres long – and if that wasn’t enough to ward off predators, they’re also highly aggressive and produce extremely toxic venom whenever they feel threatened. It’s this deadly defense mechanism that has earned their bite the name ‘kiss of death’.
Given the aggression of the black mamba snake, onlookers were shocked to watch mongoose continue to follow the snake, even after it had struck back at it.
It is believed that the mongoose was desperately trying to ward the snake away from its burrow close by. And it succeeded – as finally the defeated snake slithered off up a nearby tree.
There’s no doubt that this was a fascinating interaction to watch – but even seasoned safari guide Brett was shocked by what he saw.
He said, ‘never in my 14 years as a safari guide have I ever seen anything like this. The plucky little mongoose was just amazing.’
Make sure you watch the video above to see this little mongoose in action for yourself!