Monday, January 30, 2012

"A tale of a tail"

 Long time, no post. Alas work has been keeping me very busy and truth be told there has been little exciting wildlife in my life to tell you about. I just got my visa back for a trip that may remedy this and I still have lots of exciting photos to share from last year so look for regular posting to resume soon.

What lured me here today though was the fact that two of my favourite bloggers have exquisite snake posts up right now. Darren Naish has an epic post on colubrids up at TetZoo v3.0 and FC has a cracking EDB (that's what snake people call Eastern Diamond Back Rattlesnakes - makes you sound like you're in the know and too busy to spell out the full name ;) ) post up at Pure Florida.

These posts reminded me of a snake tale I'v been meaning to tell. We were driving through Kruger NP in South Africa and were on the look out for leopards. We came to cross a small bridge over a little creek and everyone kept their eyes to the sides looking for beasties lurking in the denser bushes lining the little creek when our guide yelled "COBRAAA!!!!!!!!" There, in the middle of the road bridge was a huge Snouted Cobra built like a brick outhouse. It wasn't particularly long but notably thick and muscular and dark. This was going to be epic. The snake had nowhere to go, it was in the middle of the road with a drop either side due to the bridge and I was pretty sure it was going to rear up as a result providing us with a pretty spectacular sghting and awesome photos. At which point with us still cruising to a halt it managed to find a big hole in the tarmac and promptly escape leaving me with this shot which, I can honestly assure you, shows you the tip of the tail of Naja annulifera.

snouted cobra tail

We waited staring at that hole for 10 minutes but did it come back out? No.  Was it still in the hole when we drove past and leaned out to look down it? No. It did what big dangerous snakes usually do when faced with people, it promptly escaped.

Luckily I do have a picture of the business end of one of these in the image bank because there's a rather lovely pair at London Zoo so here's what you missed.

egyptian snouted cobra
As you can see this was a serious beastie, even if it did run away.

1 comment:

Floridacracker said...

They can be elusive! Great portrait!