Wildlife encounters are forever captivating to the human eye and heart as we marvel at the incredible creatures around the world.
In the vast wildlife preserve of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in South Africa, a female squirrel stood her ground against a Cape cobra, repeatedly dodging its venomous bite in order to protect her young.
Safari guide Dave Pusey captured the intense showdown between the squirrel and the cobra, which he said was a “once in a lifetime sighting.”
Pusey submitted the video to Latest Sightings, a site sharing real wildlife encounters recorded by fortunate humans who happen to be in the right place at the right time.
Pusey, 41, witnessed the dramatic interspecies showdown in real-time on what he said was an “extra-special” day in the park.
“We were in the park on the Mata Mata road when we filmed this sighting,” Pusey began. “We love the Kalahari because you can always expect the unexpected to happen on a daily basis.”
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Pusey said he had already seen evidence of snake activity on the road, including a puff adder sighting, so he was not too surprised to see the yellow Cape cobra on the dirt road.
However, this cobra seemed agitated and “ready to strike,” and that is when Pusey and his safari crew saw the female ground squirrel, which was within striking distance of the cobra.
“We couldn’t believe our eyes when this scene unfolded before us, and after initially fearing for the ground squirrel, we were amazed at the bravery and speed of the squirrel and how it was irritating the deadly snake,” he said.
“The squirrel kept creeping up to the snake and just as it gets close enough, the snake would launch forward and snap a bite at the squirrel. The squirrel, however, reacted much too quickly and jumped out of the reach of the bite every time!”
Even with a career’s worth of wildlife encounters under his belt, Pusey said he had never seen anything like this before.
The snake-squirrel duel lasted around half an hour before the snake eventually slithered away into some bushes and out of sight.
The awestruck safari crew noticed the squirrel visibly relax and watched as she “carried on with her business.”
“It’s most likely that the squirrel had youngsters close by and just wanted the cobra to move away from the area,” Pusey said.
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