A ꜰɪᴇʀᴄᴇ ʙᴀᴛᴛʟᴇ between a rock python and a king cobra was discovered and filmed by Dr. Seshadri KS. It was an early evening in April 2019. Summer was at its peak and the ground was parched. It was the time of year when king cobras start to breed and he had spent all day with the field crew, tracking a king cobra.
Dr. Seshadri KS said: “At around 6.30 pm, while we were returning to the field station, we saw a few people gathered around a vacant plot of land. We wondered if they were looking at a king cobra combat — where two male king cobras try to pin each other down, and the winner is assumed to ɢᴀɪɴ access to the female.”
But that’s not all, he and his team had hardly gone half a kilometre away when his colleague Ajay Giri called to tell they that he had received a call from a villager saying that there was a king cobra in an open field near a placed called Guddekeri.
And when they arrived, they encountered a rare sight: an Indian rock python sᴛʀᴀɴɢʟɪɴɢ the king cobra around its head. Dr. Seshadri KS said: “As we got down and ran, an incredible sight greeted us — an adult king cobra lay motionless while a medium sized Indian rock python had put a stranglehold around the king cobras head. The two snakes remained motionless for nearly 20 minutes. We thought the king cobra was a goner, but continued to observe them from a distance.”
When the news spread, many people from all over came to watch. Slowly, the python loosened its grip around the king cobra. The king cobra had all the while been ʙɪᴛɪɴɢ the python. After another 10 minutes the king cobra stopped ʙɪᴛɪɴɢ it, and the python began to uncoil. Soon the king cobra began to sᴛʀᴜɢɢʟᴇ and spin, presumably a final attempt to ᴇsᴄᴀᴘᴇ the python’s noose of ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ.
After a while, the python finally let go of the king cobra. Many people fled because they did not want to stand in the way of a fleeing king cobra. Ajay quickly caught the snake and guided it into a bag that was already set up. They were taken to a forested patch nearby and released. The python measured nearly two meters and weighed approximately four kilos, while the king cobra was approximately four metres long. When the python was examined at noon the next day, it was ᴅᴇᴀᴅ, possibly from king cobra ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍ. The king cobra however, had probably gone away in search of an easier meal.