Great snakes! Python and cobra duke it out in NTU
Students from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) witnessed an astonishing street fight between a king cobra and a young reticulated python on Thursday (Aug 27) afternoon.
Footage of the two snakes locked in their life and death struggle emerged on YouTube.
It is believed that the cobra attempted to make a meal out of the python on the roadside near the university's Research Techno Plaza when the smaller serpent gained the upper hand by wrapping its body around the cobra's head.
Trapped in the constricting snake's deadly coils, the venomous cobra managed to wriggle free of its prey-turned-aggressor before making a beeline for some bushes nearby.
The pestbusters eventually came and collected the plucky python, taking it away in a sack.
The incident was captured on photo by Mr Abhishek Ambede, a computer engineering PhD student from India, who rushed down from his laboratory after spotting the commotion from his window.
"When we were alerted to the incident, the snakes were already in a deadlock," the 25-year-old nature lover told The New Paper.
"Everyone was amazed by what they were seeing. Nobody expects to see a king cobra fighting a reticulated python fighting inside campus!
"Luckily, I had my DSLR and a good zoom lens with me so I could stay at a safe distance from the action. And the snakes didn't move around suddenly to scare the people around, they were busy with themselves.
"It felt like I was watching a documentary from Discovery Channel – and we just had a talk by Steve Winter from National Geographic yesterday."
Mr Ambede later spotted the king cobra returning to the same spot, presumably to finish the job it had started, but escaped before it could be captured.
However, the stealthy king was eventually caught by NTU's pest control team at around 10.15pm and was sent to the zoo.
While reticulated pythons, named for the net-like patterns on its skin and can grow to become the longest snakes in the world, are one of the more commonly seen variety of snake in Singapore, the rarer king cobra is also endemic to the island.
Capable of growing to lengths of just under 6m, the king cobra is the world's longest venomous snake and kills its prey with deadly neurotoxins injected by its fangs.