A stubborn Cobra refused to go down without a fight – after it was caught on camera giving a hungry eagle the fright of its life.
The eagle had spotted the serpent in long grasses near to the Indian city of Chennai, and clearly sized it up for lunch.
But he wasn’t expecting his supper to fight back, and was snapped by a wildlife photographer getting quite the shock.
Wildlife photographer Karthik Ramamurthy said the 30 minute stand off was his ‘dream’ photograph.
Having taken photographs of birds of prey in the area for the past eight years, he said to witness and capture the exchange between the snake and the eagle on camera was a “dream come true.”
Having first spotted the two fighting from a distance, Mr Ramamurthy battled difficult terrain to get into position to witness the fight.
The 39-year-old photographer said: “Given the slushy ground near the farmland, it was indeed quite challenging to drive to the spot.
“I could see from a distance that the cobra was standing tall and giving a fight.
“I immediately realised that it was an ‘Oh my god’ moment and I was praying that the cobra should stay alive until I got into position.”
His perseverance paid off and he managed to get a vantage point to capture the battle on camera.
Following a two minute stand-off between the two, the fight got underway.
Mr Ramamurthy said: “The Cobra made the most of its defence by towering over the raptor and attacking.
“However, the eagle showed what a veteran it is, handling the cobra’s attack by showing its back so that a bite landed on its feathers.”
The confrontation came to an end when the bird lurched forward and grabbed the snake in its talons, twisting at the cobra’s neck to make the kill.