In the Kahalari Desert, a cobra’s presence near a colony of meerkats causes the whole gang to jump into action and defend their turf.
Although this cobra could easily kill one of these mammals, the meerkats show great courage. These petite members of the mongoose family fearlessly resist the attacks of the cobra, and even return their own strikes.
Meerkats are resistant to certain types of venom — they regularly snack on venomous scorpions and millipedes — but a bite from a snake like a puff adder and Cape cobra often proves fatal.
Growing up to 5 feet in length and packing extremely potent venom, Cape cobras are formidable hunters. They prey on a variety of animals and can even climb trees to rob the nests of birds. The species is regarded as one of the most dangerous in Africa, making them quite a tough opponent for these brave meerkats.
But the collaborative nature of the clan is a benefit in times like this. Meerkats post sentries throughout their territory to warn the rest of the group of predators like hawks and jackals. Using an elaborate series of calls, the lookouts typically raise an alarm at the sight of any potential threats, giving the others flee for their burrows and keep the young pups safe.
But, sometimes, they ban together to fend off the attacker in a move known as “mobbing.” As seen in this video, the meerkats surround the snake with their tails raised and emit loud vocalizations to overwhelm and disarm their predator.