WATCH: First a slithering python and now this - Black mambas go at it on Kruger golf course!

2017-05-22 09:38
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Cape Town - Less than two weeks ago we were treated to the languid sight of a huge python casually slithering across a Zimbali Golf Course - see it here - and now this. 

In stark energy contrast, this video shared by Latest Sightings and captured by Cara Treherne, shows two black mambas going at each other wildly - one of the deadliest snake species in the world.

Treherne says she and a group of golfers had more than a bit of trouble finishing up their golf game - as the two snakes occupied the 14th hole on the golf course at Leopard Creek, just outside Kruger National Park’s Malelane Gate.

She told, “I drove up a small rise and saw movement out of the corner of my eye. At first glance, I thought it was a spitting cobra that had its hood up, but after a closer inspection, I then saw it was actually two mambas. I quickly flagged the other 2 players in my four ball to slow down.

”Cara and the rest quickly realized that this was quite a rare sighting, so they paused the game and sat and watched the amazing sighting.  

“We called the 4 ball behind us to also come and watch. I called my husband who was at the house to bring our son and to come and see too.”

Cara continued, “It was amazing to watch and seemed to go on for ages. We debated about carrying on playing the hole, but after a little while longer, we decided to drive past them at a wide berth and go to the next hole.”

Just after the group had gone past the snakes that were going at it on the golf course, the snakes started looking a bit tired, they separated and slowly made their way back to the bush on the left-hand side of the hole.

Cara finished off by saying, “We found concentrating on golf quite difficult over the next few holes. I feel this was a once in a lifetime sighting. And so always make sure you have a camera on this golf course, there is always something exciting that can happen. I just wish I would have I had a better camera with me."

So what exactly were the two snakes doing?

While some speculate that the energetic writhing dance looks suspiciously like a mating ritual, it is in fact a territorial fight of sorts. 

Traveller24 previous shared a similar video in 2015, which was also posted Latest  Sightings' YouTube channel.

At the time, snake experts Shaun and Tracey Bodington from the Imhoff Snake Park near Kommetjie in the Western Cape explained that it is in "fact two two male black mambas fighting "as part of a territorial dispute possibly linked to a potential mate."  Watch the video here.

While the video shows only the two males engaged in battle, the female is probably lurking around close by, Bodington explained at the time.

Despite being one of the deadliest snake species in the world, a fight between two black mambas would hardly ever end in death. 

"It's a bit like a sumo wrestling match. A bit of pushing and shoving and eventually the one with the biggest push wins. The other one will then go off in its own direction. They will never engage in biting," Bodington says.  

He adds that genetically it is always a good thing that the bigger and better snake wins the battle, keeping the gene pool strong. 

While the mating ritual does look similar, it is apparently usually slightly more subdued.   

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