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WATCH | Gatvol squirrels and mongoose take on a cobra

05 August 2022 - 09:57

A video of squirrels and a mongoose fighting back against a Cape cobra has gone viral.

The epic moment was captured by Lara De Matos at Nossob Campsite in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, and shared with LatestSightings.com.

“We saw the Cape cobra and ground squirrels and knew something was bound to happen. We grabbed our cameras and set off for a closer view. When we got closer we saw the ground squirrels were trying to keep the Cape cobra away from their underground burrows, where they raise their young.

“The squirrels took turns constantly attacking the cobra from different angles. Suddenly a mongoose appeared and took over. At that stage, the ground squirrels took a rest and watched from the side as the mongoose had its moment to defend and attack.”

The creatures continued to fight against the snake until it grew tired of the fight and left.

This follows a similar battle between a cobra and a squirrel shared by LatestSightings in 2020.

According to the University of California, scientists found squirrels may be immune to snake venom if they share an area with that snake.

“Squirrels from two areas where northern Pacific rattlesnakes are common had high resistance to that particular snake’s venom.

“In the absence of rattlesnakes, squirrels’ resistance fades, but slowly over tens of thousands of generations.”

A study also found squirrels use their tails to warn and deter rattlesnakes.

“We found tail-flagging by adult squirrels increased the likelihood that snakes would leave their ambush site, apparently by elevating the vigilance of nearby squirrels which reduces the profitability of the ambush site,” the researchers said.

A picture of a squirrel eating a snake went viral in 2019 after it was shared by the US National Park Service.

“Rock squirrels eat mostly plant material, fruits and nuts, but don’t let their humble appearance fool you. They will also eat bird eggs, lizards and snakes.

“This photo from Guadalupe Mountains National Park shows a squirrel and snake in battle. Who won? The squirrel, which devoured most of the snake, bones and all, down to the last two inches,” the service said of the encounter.

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