Whiskers twitching, the mouse stares into the jaws of death - and then pounces on them.
The little fellow had no intention of being lunch for the deadly viper whose cage he had been thrown into. During a vicious 30-minute struggle the mouse tore at the serpent's head with its tiny paws and jaws, finally killing it. Face-off: The snake and mouse stare each other down as battle commences
The mouse served up as lunch makes a counter-attack on the viper, leading to a 30-minute fight to the death
The outcome amazed firemen in Nantou, Taiwan, who had rescued the footlong snake from a local home and taken it to their fire station as a pet.
Fireman Lan Sengqiu said the snake might have used up all its venom trying to bite them when they caught it, adding: 'The mouse barely had a scratch on him.'
Vipers have a pair of long hollow fangs, that are used to inject venom from glands at the back of the jaw.
During a strike the mouth can open to nearly 180 degrees, and jaws snap shut on impact.
Death is usually caused by a collapse in blood pressure from the venom.
But snakes do have enemies. They can fall prey to large birds, wild boars, mongooses, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, other snakes. . . and apparently mice.