18/04/2024

CAUGHT ON CAMERA, these savage pictures show an eagle getting ready to tuck into its ᴘᴏɪsᴏɴᴏᴜs dinner.

A photographer has captured incredible pictures of an eagle catching a snake before ᴛᴇᴀʀɪɴɢ the 4ft ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs cobra apart.

With a snake dangling from its mouth, the short-toed snake eagle proceeded to ᴛᴇᴀʀ ᴀᴘᴀʀᴛ the 4ft ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs cobra, ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋɪɴɢ its ᴘʀᴇʏ headfirst.

Gowathaman Ganesan, 48, watched as the raptor ᴀᴛᴇ the serpent at Thenneri Lake in Kanchipuram district, India, in August.

The entrepreneur recalled the moment he took the photos, saying: “It was a cloudy morning in the outskirts of Kanchipuram, India, when a female, short-toed Snake Eagle soared along the lake, in search of ᴘʀᴇʏ.”

After a prolonged flight it started hovering at 300m for few seconds before it locked on to the ᴘʀᴇʏ, the cameraman said. Mr Ganesan added: “We approached the bird then the eagle started diving towards the ᴘʀᴇʏ; by the time we got to there, the eagle caught the head of the 4ft long Indian cobra.”

The snake, having been ʀɪᴘᴘᴇᴅ ɪɴᴛᴏ two pieces, is ᴅᴇᴀᴅ and the eagle happily starts to sᴡᴀʟʟᴏᴡ it. Instead of chopping its meal up further, the eagle sᴡᴀʟʟᴏᴡs the serpent whole and makes for a funny picture as it sᴛʀᴜɢɢʟᴇs to finish its lengthy ᴠɪᴄᴛɪᴍ.

“After ᴄʟᴇᴀᴠɪɴɢ the snake’s head, the eagle ripped the meal into two piece and started feasting on the bottom part – it was crazy to see.”

Short-toed snake eagles are birds of ᴘʀᴇʏ. It favours soaring over hill slopes and hilltops on updraughts, and it does much of its ʜᴜɴᴛɪɴɢ from this position at heights of up to 500 m (1,600 ft). When quartering open country it frequently hovers like a kestrel. When it soars it does so on flattish wings.

Its ᴘʀᴇʏ is mostly reptiles, mainly snakes, but also some lizards. Sometimes they become entangled with larger snakes and ʙᴀᴛᴛʟᴇ on the ground. Occasionally, they ᴘʀᴇʏ on small mammals up to the size of a rabbit, and rarely birds and large insects.

So it is unsurprising that this is what this mighty bird chose to ᴅᴇᴠᴏᴜʀ.

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