Lions have earned their place as kings of the jungle, but even these apex predators know to stay away from huge, terrifying snakes.
When a young lion spotted a large python slithering nearby, the curious cat decided to investigate. As the brazen cub gets close, it growls at the snake, seemingly asserting its dominance.
The feisty python doesn’t even flinch before delivering a stinging blow, sinking its sharp, curved teeth into the lion’s face.
Although pythons are nonvenomous and kill their prey through strangulation, those teeth are still capable of causing severe damage. Once they grip their victim, they then wrap their massive bodies around the unlucky animal, cutting off the air supply until the heart stops.
Pythons’ flexible jaws also allow them to swallow larger mammals and reptiles like antelope, goats, and crocodiles — so a young lion cub probably wouldn’t be too far-fetched.
Luckily for this lion, the snake let go and retreated. Otherwise, it might have suffered a slow death and ended up dinner. While lions are heavier, cubs are only a few feet in length, while African rock pythons can grow to more than 20 feet. Whatever their size though, they are quite vicious and can eat animals two times their size.
In fact, adult lions typically don’t prey snakes, because they’re simply not worth the trouble. Young cubs must learn the rules of hunting from their parents though, and it looks like this one had to learn this lesson the hard way.