Fight to the death between crocodile and snake captured by Sri Lanka photographer in Yala National Park
The epic struggle was recorded on camera by amateur photographer Dr Rishani Gunasinghe at a waterhole in Yala National Park, home of our famed leopards and elephants.
The snake, a Russell’s viper, one of the largest and deadlines snakes on the island, proved no match for the crocodile, which tore it to pieces.
Russell’s vipers are responsible for the highest number of snake bites in Sri Lanka, the highest number of fatalities and is the second most venomous viper on the island.
Says the Mail: “Dr Gunasinghe said most sightseers passed the watering hold by, but her group stopped after seeing a small white object near the crocodile which turned out to be a snake
“As Dr Gunasinghe watched the crocodile grabbed the snake in its jaws and hauled it out of the water. At first she thought it was a python because of its size, but it turned out to be a Russell’s Viper.”
Says Rishani: “Seeing a Russell’s viper in the wild, one of the deadliest snakes in the world, was indeed a treat, but to see a croc with one of possibly record size, and the superb spins and tosses displayed by the croc in trying to kill and devour the viper, was quite a show and possibly a once-in-a-lifetime encounter.
“When I was taking the pictures, all I was thinking was getting both the croc and viper sharp and freezing the super-fast action as best as I could. Now I feel we were extremely lucky to witness such a rare event.
“The Russell’s viper is an aggressive snake and in Sri Lanka, it is responsible for the highest snake bites, highest number of fatalities and it’s the second most venomous viper in the island.”
You can see more of Rish’s work here on Facebook.