Snake shot
When nature photographer Haitham Al Shanfari came across a rare snake on his walk Image Credit: Supplied

Muscat: Arabian Cobra like any of its Cobra family members is venomous, and produces a hood when threatened. For Haitham Al Shanfari, noted Omani photographer who has been contracted many times by National Geographic magazine for his spectacular wildlife photography skills, this Wednesday was just another typical day until he almost stepped on an Arabian Cobra.

A typical day for him starts early as he likes to capture the beauty of morning light on his subjects. These days he is engaged in filming the different types of birds found in Oman. But today what caught his attention as he was walking around searching for something new to include in his composition was not something ordinary. He noticed the shimmering Arabian Cobra slithering near him and stopped in his tracks. However, before taking some extraordinary photographs of his new muse, he alerted a snake expert to reach the location immediately.

“I am not scared of snakes or any animals, because they are my passionate subjects for photography. The cobra that came into my path as I was scouting for a viewpoint was a 1.7 metre Arabian Cobra that has a distinct colour and in the morning light it was quite literally glowing.” Says Ahmed who was filming in Taqa, a village 35 kilomtres east of Salalah.

The snake expert didn’t take long to reach the location. The Arabian cobra snake was caught, to be handed over to the right department at the Sultan Qaboos University, after obtaining the required approvals.

Haitham is known to many through his amazing photographs of nature, animals and birds, which he posts on his Instagram account (Haitham.shanfari). With around 50K followers, every picture that Haitham posts garners more than thousand likes and hundreds of comments.

“This was my first close encounter with this beautiful creature. And my first experience in photographing snakes up close with their smiling face and heart-shaped eyes.” Haitham says of this rare encounter.