Mongoose vs Monitor Lizard

K. Adithya Subramaniam

K. Adithya Subramaniam

Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

Mongooses are fierce and fearless creatures that do not hesitate to do battle with and kill even large venomous snakes. However, it is puzzling why a mongoose would attack a monitor lizard, and that too, one this size! Luckily, monitor lizards are incredibly tough, and this one was probably none the worse for its injuries.

I took this photograph at Nagarahole national park, Karnataka, on 19th Nov 2014 around 6:00 pm. My friends and I were nearing the end of the evening safari when I saw a commotion in the bushes. I got a quick glimpse of a common monitor lizard (Varanus bengalensis). As we passed it by, a mongoose suddenly emerged from the bushes, so we reversed our vehicle to photograph it. Soon we were amazed to see the mongoose viciously attack the lizard, biting it here and there. The lizard did its best to defend itself by whipping its tail, but the mongoose attacked its face. However, although it clearly had the upper hand, the mongoose left the lizard after about fifteen minutes, having inflicted bleeding wounds on the monitor’s nose and face.

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