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A Mongoose Faces off Against a Cobra

The world’s largest museum complex, the Smithsonian Institution, has partnered with Showtime to bring you incredible documentaries, docu-series, and programs to enrich and enlighten your life. They have started an entire channel dedicated to sharing with you programming about science, nature, culture, history, and more.


This incredible shot was taken for the Smithsonian series Speed Kills documenting the lives of predators all over the world. This mongoose and cobra live in the Namib Desert in Africa, where temperatures can reach a searing 160 degrees. The dunes are filled with predators looking to catch their next meal. Though the match-up may seem stacked against the mongoose, you’d be surprised at how things turn out.

A mongoose is a carnivorous mammal in the same classification as hyenas and cats, called the Feliforma Carnivora. They are native to Asia, Africa, and Europe.

Cobras are largely seen as mighty predators in the dunes of Africa, so why did this mongoose escape unscathed?

Would you believe that a mongoose is categorically faster than the Cobra, and even if the snake did manage to bite him, the mongoose has a specialized receptor in their body that makes snake venom impossible to attach. The toxin can’t bind to them, rendering them immune to the venom.

Go Mongoose!