Watch a Mongoose Defeat a Deadly Black Cobra Ten Times Its Size

Written by Kyle Glatz
Updated: October 19, 2023
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Key Points:

  • Though small, the mongoose is a tough fighter with sharp fangs capable of ripping flesh or gripping its prey, as well as quick reflexes and agility.
  • Mongooses have resistance to some types of snake venom, allowing them to withstand attacks. 75-80% of the time, a mongoose can kill a cobra.
  • In the video below, watch a stand-off between a threatening black cobra and its arch nemesis, a fearless mongoose.

Cobras are snakes with potent venom and the ability to strike at their foes with amazing speed. They’re known for killing and eating lizards, rodents, amphibians, and more. However, not every small mammal is an easy meal for them. That lesson is one that a deadly black cobra, possibly a forest cobra, is bound to learn in this video.  

Watch the Action-Packed Mongoose vs Cobra Fight Below!

The video begins with a cameraperson that is entirely too close to a black cobra that measures several feet long. The snake is too busy to pay attention to the human, though. Its eyes are fixed on a mongoose, a small mammal. The cobra lunges at the mongoose but comes up empty, unable to sink its venomous fangs into the critter.

The mongoose gets even closer to the cobra as it draws its head off the ground and spreads its hood. It goes for another bite, and the mongoose dodges once again. This time, the mongoose goes for a counterstrike, but it misses.

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black cobra

Cobras are snakes with potent venom and the ability to strike at their foes with amazing speed.

©Andre Coetzer/

The fight goes on and the video skips forward a few moments or several minutes. The mongoose jumps to the side of the snake. Before it can strike, the mongoose delivers one bite, and the snake recoils. The deadly black cobra tries to counter, but it’s too late. The mongoose leaps and bites into the cobra’s head and takes it down. The mongoose keeps gnawing and twisting on the head, and the fight seems all but over. However, the mammal gets distracted, allowing the snake to rise again.

Round Two: The Deadly Black Cobra’s Second Wind

Mongoose Snarling

The mongoose may be small, but it is a formidable foe against a cobra.

©Mark Sheridan-Johnson/

The black cobra is clearly hurt, but it’s not out of the fight just yet. The two square up once again, and it seems like the cobra is ready to go for another round. However, the mongoose isn’t going to give the snake another opportunity to fight it. Instead, it leaps up and grabs the cobra by the head again, bringing it to the ground, and turning it over and over.

This time, the mongoose apparently kills the cobra. The mongoose rolls the snake’s body over and over. The snake is either too exhausted or injured to fight. This outcome is not all that unusual. Mongooses take down deadly black cobras and other venomous snakes with great frequency.

Is This Normal Behavior?

black desert cobra

While most animals are no match for the black cobra, a mongoose is one animal that can take it down.

©Syed Usman Zaidi/

Is it normal for a mongoose to kill a venomous snake as imposing as a cobra? These mammals may be small, but they’re also agile and have teeth that help them crush skulls and tear flesh away. More importantly, they have some resistance to certain types of snake venom, allowing them to survive some envenomation. This combined biological toolkit makes mongooses the ideal species for killing cobras and even black mambas. In fact, statistics find that in a fight against a mongoose and cobra, the mongoose emerges the victor 75-80% of the time!

So, the next time you think about animals fighting, remember that size isn’t everything. Some animals are born well-equipped to handle larger, deadlier animals.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Rajeev Amaratunga/

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About the Author

Kyle Glatz is a writer at A-Z-Animals where his primary focus is on geography and mammals. Kyle has been writing for researching and writing about animals and numerous other topics for 10 years, and he holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and Education from Rowan University. A resident of New Jersey, Kyle enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games.

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