Cobra-python fight causes a stir on Penang hiking trail

Ramakrishna (second left) and other hikers looking at the coiled snakes along a trail near Moon Gate.
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

Hikers in Penang are not only talking about the upcoming political battle between Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan but of another kind of close fight involving a huge cobra and a smaller python along a popular trail near Moon Gate next to the Penang Botanic Gardens.

The question of whether the two reptiles ended up in the cooking pot or whether they escaped into the bushes has become a hot topic of conversation at the Level Five hikers' rest station.

The python measuring about 2.3m had coiled itself around the huge cobra which was more than 4m long and both were motionless for about two hours.

Ramakrishna (second left) and other hikers looking at the coiled snakes along a trail near Moon Gate.

Hiker K. Ramakrishna, 32, said he and others saw the coiled snakes on Thursday at about 6.40pm, about 20m away from a ruined bungalow next to the trail.

"Someone used a stick to poke the cobra to see whether it was alive and the head moved. Although the python was smaller, it coiled itself around the cobra head.

"We could not see the full length of the cobra as the tail was hidden in the bushes," he said.

Ramakrishna, a software programmer who has been hiking since 2004, claimed that he has seen the same cobra at other trails before.

He and his friends watched the snakes for about 40 minutes. They took pictures and video clips and shared them with friends.

The smaller python having a constricting grip on the cobra’s head.Photo: The Star/Asia News Network

News of the snake-battle reached other hikers who rushed down to see the reptiles.

A female hiker said she was about to go up from Moon Gate at about 6pm when a group told her about the snakes.

"I got scared and didn't hike after that," she said.

Another hiker said the two snakes disappeared and may have slipped into the bushes.

"We don't know which snake won the fight. The talk is someone may have caught the reptiles and bundled into a gunny sack to be sold to a restaurant.

"Some hikers saw several firemen walking up the trail. But after being told the snakes were gone, they left," he said.

Hiker Lau Seng Chuan, 54, said he has been hiking for six years and had seen snakes in some trails.

He said hikers had taken photos and video clips of two courting cobras at one trail some two months ago and shared it in their WhatsApp group.

"I hope hikers will not be deterred by the reptiles," he said.


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