Incredible Kruger: Unusual battle as bird takes out two snakes

2016-11-23 07:19 - Selene Brophy
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Cape Town - Kruger is South Africa's most iconic wildlife battleground where you'll experience standoffs between a troublesome lion stalking a sleeping leopard, heck, a pride of lions taking on a hippo seems commonplace too, with a 4x4 thrown in for good measure.  

However, we have to admit, seeing a bird take on not one, but two snakes isn't your everyday occurrence in the mighty Kruger. 

This awesome moment was captured on film by 53-year-old technician, Frank De Souza on 14 November 2016 in Marloth Park, situated on the border of the Kruger National Park.

According to De Souza, the cleverly deceptive snake even takes to playing dead to fool its captor... and not just one snake in this story but double the trouble...

“I've seen many snakes over the years but never a tweak snake," he says.

"I know them to be very shy and highly poisonous. There is no antidote if bitten by one of these snakes. This was the first time I had ever seen a bird fighting a snake."

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(Frank De Souza - Latest Sightings)

"There were four of us on a walk looking for birds to take pictures of when suddenly we saw a Grey Headed Bushshrike on the dirt road jumping around and flying up and down. 

"As we slowly went closer we saw a snake not far off. They began to fight with one another until the snake pretended to be dead. The bird was not so easily fooled and the fighting then continued."

(Frank De Souza - Latest Sightings)

According to De Souza the standoff saw the bird fighting with two snakes at the same time. "We immediately started filming." 

About 25 seconds into the video De Souza pans to another snake that appears dead to his left, which the bird initially began fighting with. 

"The snake who originally acted dead woke up and shot off like a rocket into the bushes leaving the bird to attack the second snake until it also played dead, finally pulling the snake around," he says. 

"My wife Beth and I were both amazed to have captured this sighting, it was a fantastic experience."


(Video source: Latest Sightings)

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