GEORGE TOWN: It’s been days since a huge cobra fought with a smaller python near Penang Botanic Gardens but hikers are still talking about it.
Did the two reptiles end up in a cooking pot? Did they escape into the bushes? These questions and the “battle” itself dominate conversations at the Level Five rest station.
The snakes fought it out along a popular trail near Moon Gate, next to Penang Botanic Gardens.
One hiker said the two snakes disappeared and might have slipped into the bushes after the clash on Thursday evening.
“We don’t know which snake won the fight. The talk is someone might have caught both the reptiles and bundled them into a gunny sack and sold them off to a restaurant. But this is difficult to believe.
“Some hikers saw several firemen walking up the trail. But after being told the snakes were gone, they left,” he said.
The python, measuring about 2.3m, had coiled itself around the cobra, which was more than 4m. Both were in that position for about two hours.
“Someone used a stick to poke the cobra to see if it was alive. Its head moved. Although the python was smaller, it coiled itself around the cobra’s head,” said Ramakrishna, 32, a software programmer who has been hiking since 2004.
“We could not see the full length of the cobra as the tail was hidden in the bushes.”
He and his friends watched the snakes for about 40 minutes.
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.
Lau Seng Chuan, 54, said he had been hiking for six years and had seen snakes at some trails.
“It is quite scary,” he said.
“Hikers must be careful, although we have not heard about hikers being bitten by snakes. However, there have been close encounters.”