Helen Young, a visitor, noticed a strange-looking object writhing in the road in front of her earlier this year while on an early morning game drive in the northern parts of the Kruger Park. The shape changed as she got ᴄʟᴏsᴇr, revealing itself to be a rock monitor engaged in combat with a snouted cobra.
The snouted cobra, one of Africa’s largest cobra species and often a nighttime ʜᴜɴᴛer, had already deeply sunk its fangs in the lizard’s midsection when Young arrived on the sᴄᴇɴᴇ. The rock monitor, on the other hand, was trudging down the road with determination, its gait labored by the effects of the snake’s mostly neurotoxic venom.
She could see that the lizard was losing energy as time went on. It was covered with venom and had obvious Bɪᴛᴇ marks on its neck, according to Young. Despite this, the monitor was occasionally able to escape the cobra’s grasp during the struggle, but the cobra always managed to recapture it.
The snake eventually slithered under Young’s car and out of sight as a second vehicle arrived. She remained with the rock monitor for some time, eager to learn the conclusion. Except for a few tongue flicks, the lizard stayed still in the road.
The diet of snout cobras is diverse and includes toads, birds (and their eggs), rodents, lizards, and other snakes, especially puff adders. They frequently invade poultry runs in rural regions and might annoy farmers. When injected, their venom’s lethal concoction of neurotoxic and cytotoxic substances causes tissue ᴅᴀᴍᴀɢᴇ, respiratory failure, and ultimately ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ.