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Bird Rips Snake’s Eyes Out as it Tries to Escape

Brave bird attacks a snake twice its size whilst trying to stay away from the snake’s highly venomous fangs. Will the risk be worth it for the bird or not?

Bird rips out snake’s eye

Field guide Pieter van Wyk at MalaMala Game Reserve was able to record the battle and shared it with

“It was a sunny day, and I was taking a group of tourists out on a morning drive when I spotted the commotion. It had not even been 10 seconds into our drive. We had barely left the vicinity of the camp.”

Bushshrike carrying the boomslang

“At first, I thought it was a snake attacking a bird of some sort, but as I got closer, I realized that the bird was actually attacking the snake. The bushshrike, with its distinctive grey, yellow, and green plumage, was diving down and pecking at the boomslang, a venomous tree snake known for its bright green colour.”

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“The snake was trying to escape, but the bushshrike was relentless. It would dive down and attack the snake, then fly back up to a nearby branch, only to repeat the process again.”


Grey-headed bushshrikes are ferocious birds that will eat just about anything they can get their beaks on. It is a known fact that they will kill snakes if given the opportunity.

“As I was observing this fascinating interaction, I knew well that the snake stood no chance. At this point, the bush shrike had already delivered fatal blows to the snake”

Fatal blows from the bird

“We watched on for a while, and when the inevitable became clear, the guests requested we leave before the snake actually died as they could not stomach the sight. As we were leaving, I couldn’t help but think about what would happen to the snake.”

“Deep down, I knew that the snake would most likely not survive the attack. The bushshrike at this point had already blinded the snake and was continuously attacking the snake’s head.”

Bird attacks a snake twice its size!

“Even though I didn’t stay to see the end of the encounter, I was still struck by the power and ferocity of the bushshrike. It is a reminder of the brutal realities of nature and the constant struggle for survival that takes place in the bush.”

Through these experiences, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the natural world and the delicate balance of life and death in the bush. So the next time you are out in the wild, be mindful of the interactions taking place around you and take a moment to appreciate the incredible beauty of nature.

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