Staff and students at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore were treated to a rare snake-vs-snake encounter earlier today when a king cobra was spotted wrestling with a reticulated python on a campus sidewalk.
Bystanders managed to capture images and footage of the snakes as they battled it out near the university’s Research Techno Plaza (RTP). According to graduate student Abhishek Ambede, who witnessed the battle, the cobra was the longer of the two snakes, and looked to be about 3.6 metres (about 12 feet) in length. The python was shorter at an estimated 1.5-2 metres (5-6 feet) long.
A large crowd gathered to watch the wrestling snakes, some sneaking dangerously close so they could snap photos. The animals battled it out for about 20 minutes before the cobra slithered off into some nearby bushes. The python was later captured by NTU pest control officers, and appeared sluggish after the battle.
While reticulated pythons prefer a diet of mammals and occasionally birds, king cobras are known for their snake-eating behaviour, so it’s likely that the cobra was the attacker in this case. Both species are indigenous to Singapore.
The cobra was spotted again later in the day, perhaps in search of its missing meal. As NTU is located close to forested areas, it is not surprising to find wildlife on the campus; however students are being urged to remain vigilant when walking on the sidewalk near the bushes.