By Taniya Dutta
An Indian photographer has captured a fierce encounter between a king cobra and a rat snake – minutes before the nonvenomous reptile became a snack.
The four-hour-long confrontation between the world’s largest poisonous snake and the rat snake took place in Ujire Western Ghats in Mangalore in southern India in August last year.
The amazing photographs, taken by Pavan Srinivas, 28, show the intense moments a hungry cobra looks straight into the eyes of a fearless rat snake that is hanging from a branch.
After an intense fight, the cobra succeeds to get a hold of the rat snake and pierces its poisonous fangs into its skin as the small snake wrestles to free itself from the cobra’s tight grip.
Pavan who took the stunning pictures said the cobra had come out of its habitat and attacked the rat snake for meal. It was later rescued by snake expert Joy Mascarenhas also famously knows as Snake Joy.
Pavan said: “We were in the Ujire Western Ghats on 08 August 2017.
“We spotted this big black cobra coming out of its habitat to hunt a rat snake.
“By the time we reached closer, the battle was about to start and I asked my friend not to rescue the snake until it gets the rat snake.
“I waited for almost three to four hours without making any noise or movements to capture this image.
“But once the king cobra started to attack, things went very quickly. The cobra was later rescued by Mr Joy and realised in a safer place”
Pavan holds a professional degree in photojournalism and has been doing photography since 2011.
The professional photographer said the Indian King Cobra, the largest venomous snake in the world which is found in western ghats of India can grow up to 18-feet long.
He added: “It can produce a large amount or venomous which can easily kill an elephant within minutes, and it is the only snake which builds its nest.
“Most of the time King Cobra feeds on snakes where as rat snakes are non-venomous, and it feeds on rats, frogs, small birds.”