This squirrel won't let a cobra come near her babies.
The most dangerous place on Earth for any wild animal is arguably Africa. There is such a great diversity of predators and prey there. Every single day is a struggle survival and you're either the hunted or the hunter if you're an animal.
While survival instincts are strong in most animals in Africa, parental instincts to protect may be even stronger. Case in point this African ground squirrel that has noticed a large cobra a little too close to her young.
Instead of fleeing or abandoning her young, the small mammal goes head-to-head with one of the most venomous snakes on the planet. Her fast reflexes save her life more than once as she tries to drive the serpent away.
This was a yellow or cape cobra. These snakes primarily feed upon rodents and a nest full of baby squirrels would make an easy meal. This footage was shot by safari guide Dave Pusey who had never seen anything quite like it.
"We couldn't believe our eyes when this scene unfolded before us, and after initially fearing for the ground squirrel, we were amazed at the bravery and speed of the squirrel and how it was irritating the deadly snake," Pusey said in the video's description.
We agree. The slow-motion shots at the end really emphasize how close this squirrel came to getting two fangs full of deadly venom. We did a little research on the African ground squirrel and found out most do not have more than a single litter of young in a year. Perhaps that made her even more defensive of her young. Enough to risk a painful death and the possibility of ending up in a snake's gullet.
Eventually the snake had enough of the encounter and hid in a hole. The squirrel had won the day. If you had asked us to pick a winner before this encounter, we would have chosen the snake. It just goes to show you should never judge a book by its cover!