Fight Between 15-foot King Cobra and Giant Monitor Lizard Caught on Camera

A fight between a 15-foot king cobra and a giant monitor lizard was recently caught on camera by an Indian forest official. The video was shared with a local journalist, who later posted the video to social media.

The site was rather unusual, as officials said that king cobras tend to eat other snakes. However, it wouldn't be the first time a king cobra was spotted preying on a monitor lizard in the country.

The incident occurred near a forest in the Indian state of Kerala, International Business Times reports. According to journalist Bobins Abraham Vayalil via Twitter, the fight ensued for nearly 10 minutes before the two went their separate ways.

The video—which was reportedly recorded by a forest official and shared to Twitter by Vayalil—shows the two take turns biting one another. Throughout the majority of the one-and-a-half-minute video, the lizard and the snake remain coiled around one another.

Indian outlet Mathrubhumi reported Monday the lizard eventually escaped and fled to the forest. The snake also slithered off once the fight was over.

A king cobra's diet typically consists of other snakes, said the National Zoo. Because of this, a wildlife official told Mathrubhumi that he suspects the cobra mistook the lizard's tail for a smaller snake. But cobras will feast on other cold-blooded animals if the mood strikes.

According to Conservation India, king cobras have been caught dining on monitor lizards before. A photographer who captured the moment one cobra sank its fangs into a monitor told the organization in 2013 that cobra sightings had become a regular occurrence in some parts of the Chikmagalur district, located in the Indian state of Karnataka. He explained this was likely due to the presence of rat snakes and monitor lizards in those areas.

In order to kill their prey, a cobra needs to "bite and hang on," said National Geographic. This is because they use venom to kill.

"The venom is a neurotoxin that stops the victim's breathing and heartbeat," said the San Diego Zoo.

Authorities in India don't believe the monitor lizard in Kerala was injected with poison, as the bite "was not strong enough," IBTimes said.

Local outlet Daily Thanthi claimed the king cobra also escaped unharmed, despite being bitten by the lizard.

Though interactions between king cobras and monitor lizards might be more common than people think, IBTimes still described the fight in Kerala as "rare." It also appeared as though Twitter commenters found the fight interesting.

"What a fight," commented Susanta Kumar Dehuri.

"It's amazing," commented another.

King cobra
A fight between a 15-foot king cobra and a giant monitor lizard was recently caught on camera by an Indian forest official. Wildlife officials believe the corba mistook the lizard's tail for another snake. Tomasz Banaczek/iStock