By SIMON TOMLINSON FOR MAILONLINE
Armed with deadly venom capable of killing humans, the boomslang snake is a feared predator in the wild.
But the tables were well and truly turned when this unsuspecting reptile was ambushed by a mongoose.
The boomslang was resting in a tree in Namibia’s Etosha National Park when the mongoose crept up and went in for the kill.
After climbing the tree, the mongoose clambered onto the snake and edged closer and closer to the serpent’s head.
Slithering in vain, the snake tried to shake the mongoose off.
But unable to move, it wasn’t long until the mongoose got close enough to take a bite and sank its teeth into its prey.
The images were taken by Elana Erasmus, from Pretoria in South Africa.
Elana, 48, was on a guided safari at the game reserve in Nambia when she saw the encounter about to unfold.
She said: ‘We were on our way back to camp after the morning’s photography session when our guide spotted a slender mongoose attacking a boomslang in a tree next to road. We realised immediately that this was a very special sighting. Our cameras were already tucked away in their dust covers and we were frantically trying to get our equipment out and ready.’
The mongoose would pursue the boomslang, continuously biting it on its head while the boomslang tried in vain to get away from its attacker.
She added: ‘At times, the boomslang would curl itself around the slender mongoose in an attempt to defend itself or possibly to kill it with a snake bite.’
But it was very clear that the slender mongoose was the predator and that this time, the snake was the prey.
A few times the mongoose would fall out of the tree just to clamber back to continue its relentless attack on the boomslang.
After a while the boomslang looked tired and worst for wear. It was clear that the mongoose had the upper hand.