Durban: A video of a cobra and puff adder engaged in an epic life and death dual on a South African road has gone viral.
It is unclear when or where the minute-long video was taken but it has been shared countless times on social media. The source is unnamed.
The video begins with a shot of what first appears to be one long snake, but as the car inches closer it becomes clear that there are in fact two snakes - either a snouted cobra or a Cape cobra and a puff adder - twisting into each other.
However Herpetologist Tyrone Ping said these snakes were not fighting but engaged in a predation event.
“The cobra is feeding on the puff adder. Many cobra species feed on other snakes especially slow moving snakes like the adders,” said Ping.
He added: “Snakes make perfect prey for other snakes as they do not encounter limbs, fur or feathers, making it so easy to swallow.
“Many of these species are somewhat tolerant to the venom of other snakes, so as you see in the video the puff adder is biting the cobra but the venom will not kill the large cobra.”
Ping said this video has been around for sometime, but details were a little sketchy as to the exact location.
Ping noted that it this was a common occurrence.
“It’s an interesting interaction but seen often in places like the Kalahari and such areas.”
Another Durban snake catcher Jason Arnold also cited this as “common.”
“Cobras feed on other snakes, so it's pretty commonly seen. This is either a snouted cobra or a cape cobra eating a puff adder.”
Arnold said it was interesting to watch.