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WATCH | Squirrels and mongoose sssstick it to Cape cobra

Business Insider SA
  • Footage of squirrels and a mongoose taking on a Cape cobra has been released by Latest Sightings.
  • They surrounded the snake in a bid to protect their young.
  • Fortuntaely for them they have a high tolerance to the snake's venom.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
 

Footage of squirrels and a mongoose taking on a Cape cobra has been released by wildlife website Latest Sightings. Latest Sightings shares videos captured by visitors to the Kruger Park. 

In an attempt to protect their young, the squirrels and mongoose surrounded and taunted the serpent at the Nossob Campsite in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

The ground squirrels were trying to keep the snake away from their underground burrows, where they raise their young.

The squirrels attacked the cobra from different angles, and a mongoose soon joined in – and took over while the squirrels took a break.

Mongoose or ground squirrels have strong resistance to Cape cobra venom.



5 things to know about the Cape cobra
  • The Cape cobra (Naja nivea) is a medium-sized, venomous elapid found across multiple habitat types in southern Africa. Naja comes from the Sanskrit word nagá, meaning serpent/snake. The second part nivea (from niveus) means snowy, but nobody knows why.
  • They have smooth scales (keeled in rinkhals), enlarged/chubby cheeks where the venom glands sit. The end of their tail is often darker than the rest of the body.
  • The snakes are daylight (diurnal) hunters that feed on just about anything from birds eggs to other snakes and even roadkill. 
  • The Cape cobra falls prey to carnivores like the honey badger and birds of prey like secretary birds and snake eagles. Meerkats and various mongoose species are also know to give them a hard time due to their high tolerance of cobra venom. 
  • They have hollow fangs, fixed on the upper jaw at the front of the mouth and deliver their venom through these fangs. The mortality rate for untreated bites in humans is not exactly known, but is thought to be relatively high.

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