The cobra is a highly venomous snake that is found and revered in India and other parts of southeast Asia as well as Africa. While small mammals, other snakes and birds are all prey to the cobra, there are a select few animals in the wild who if confronted by or come across a cobra can and do eat them.
To the average person it looks like a mismatch, but in the wild a mongoose regularly comes out on top in duels with cobras. A mongoose is very similar to the weasel and uses it lightening quick reflexes to bite the head off the cobra before it can strike back. Its thick coat and resistance to snake neurotoxin venom means it can still recover from bites and emerge victorious. Author Rudyard Kipling even based a character in one of his Jungle Book stories on a mongoose who saves a human family from a cobra.
Pound for pound, the honey badger is considered to be one of Africa’s most feared predators and it regularly takes on and eats poisonous cobras. They have an extremely varied diet and will eat nearly anything they come across. In 2004 they were listed as the “most feared animal in the world” and they have shown some immunity from snake venom – a reason why cobras are on their diet list.
Cobras have a reputation that is somewhat justified of being deadly to humans. A cobra that is disturbed will attack and bite humans which can lead to death. It is believed that the cobra kills more people per year than any other type of snake. Due to the threat, man will kill cobras to protect towns and villages, especially in rural and poor areas where they are found in Africa and Asia. In countries such as Vietnam the cobra is eaten – with the heart being a particular delicacy.
Birds of Prey
One way that the cobra's bite can be eliminated is by swooping down from the air and attacking the snake, which is what birds of prey do. Eagles and hawks in Africa regularly hunt cobras when they break free or are basking in the sun – making them easy prey for large birds.