You wouldn't expect an encounter between a venomous serpent and a ferocious furball to wind up looking like a child playing on a rope swing, but that's exactly what went down in South Africa's Kruger National Park recently – all while visitor Delia Bronkhorst had her camera rolling!

Bronkhorst's lucky capture shows the mongoose leaping from the grass to sink its teeth into the dangling head of a dead snake, holding on tight and then bouncing around like a bungee jumper. After several bounding bites (each one further mutilating the poor reptile's cranium), the snake finally drops free, and predator and prey disappear into the grass, presumably for a hard-won feast.

Mongooses are found across Africa and Asia, with eight species calling the Kruger home. While many feed mainly on insects, they're also happy to go after fruits and larger animals, including snakes. In this case, it isn't clear whether the mongoose discovered an already expired snake, or did the killing itself.

National Geographic scientist Kathleen Alexander believes the mammal to be a Selous' mongoose, the rarest mongoose in Kruger, and the reptile to be a black mamba, one of Africa's deadliest venomous snakes.

Mongooses are actually quite famous for going after snakes – armed as they are with a handy resistance to the reptiles' otherwise deadly bites – and this is not the first time we've seen a mongoose-mamba showdown. The feisty little critters have also been known to tussle with leopards and lions.

It may be easy to mistake a mongoose for a rodent (indeed, that's an error made in this YouTube video description, too), but they actually belong to the order Carnivora, alongside other predatory mammals like weasels, cats and hyenas.