Animals

By Josh Saunders


Now that’s certainly a snake charmer, reptiles’ raunchy routine captured as they beautifully mirror one another in saucy scenes of their courtship dance.

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These rat snakes from Machan forest, in the Western Ghats of India, serpently aren’t afraid of public displays of affection as they slither and schmooze in symmetry.

During the 30-minute love-fest that looked like Strictly Come Dancing and took place in grassland, the pair’s scaled heads curved and caressed one another, without fear of the growing crowd.

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Photographer David Higgins, 48, from Hull, Yorkshire, captured the affectionate act from metres away of the snakes who were up to nine feet in length.

David said: “This was one of the best wildlife experiences I’ve had, and one I was lucky enough to photograph for over 30 minutes.

“The two snakes were embroiled with each other on and off for two days and moved incredibly fast.

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“It was hard to keep up with them at times and they rolled over the ground with surprising speed, at one point I was only a ‘snakes length’ away from them.

“Of all the photos I’ve taken in India so far these are my favourites, in part because it was a completely new experience but also due to the fascinating dance and shapes they created.

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“I was caught between just wanting to watch these two snakes and trying to capture images of the event.

“I’ve photographed a few snakes in India now but this courtship dance was by far the best of the photos I’ve captured and it was also one of the best wildlife events I’ve witnessed in several years.

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“The speed of their dance, and the synchronous nature of their movements, were compelling.

“For a week after the last dance I went looking for them to try and capture more images but sadly couldn’t find them.

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“It’s really hard to tell with snakes but the beauty of the event, and the synchronicity between them, suggested that they were affectionate at some level.

“On top of that they were so ‘wrapped up’ in each other, literally and metaphorically, that they hardly noticed me even when I was only a few feet away from them.”

To see more of their work visit: www.mckeedilawsonimages.co.uk