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Hungry mongoose’s lucky escape after trying to capture adder

The feline prowling South Africa’s barren desert crept towards the unsuspecting reptile as it lay curled up in the sand. But just inches away, his dinner fought back, baring its venomous fangs. Petrified, the attempted attacker leaped into the air and bounded away to his companion.

It is a rare moment of prey trumping predator in Africa’s harsh and wild animal kingdom. Amateur wildlife photographer Hennie Lacock was having a picnic with his wife when they saw the fight about to break out. But he was stunned when he actually managed to capture the exact moment dinner decided to fight back – and the mongoose fled empty handed.

The stunning photo shows both animals mid-pounce – although both eventually escaped unharmed. Although its cousin, the Indian Grey, is famed for being able to single-handedly kill and eat lethal cobras, this species is not famed for its hunting. This mongoose had been circling Mr Hancock’s table with a pack of companions on the hunt for crumbs.

However, they all fled in one moment after catching sight of the puff adder. Mr Lacock said: ‘Suddenly their attention was not on our fried eggs and bacon anymore, and the group of mongoose rushed over to the other side of the gravel road with real purpose in their stride – something was up. ‘All the yellow mongoose were gathering in a circle, snarling, yapping and biting at something. ‘I rushed to grab my camera to capture some of the action.

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