Tuesday, November 18, 2014
How to kill a dead snake
The background to this video concerns my good neighbor, a hard-working businessman, dog-lover, Iron Man competitor, irrepressible optimist, and electronic wizard who loves all things natural, except rattlesnakes.
When California's foothills warm up in the spring, Pacific diamondback rattlesnakes show up to lounge in the morning sun.
And last spring my neighbor from Chicago, let's just call him Larry, started finding rattlesnakes lounging in his backyard.
When this happens most folks around here start to curse and do a little fandago with a shovel or hoe while beating the snake to a pulp.
And that pretty much describes how this rattler met its demise.
Larry was kind enough, however, to deliver the corpse in a bucket, and after removing its head, I stashed it in a hole dug by a local pair of gray foxes.
The camera showed how a cautious fox "kills" a dead snake.
Its reaction tells me this wasn't the first time it used the old "shake and break" method to dispatch a snake.
But it makes you wonder if gray foxes prey on rattlers very often, and if so, how risky is it?
I imagine that as long as a fox seizes a rattlesnake somewhere away from the head, and shakes it quickly and violently, it can inflict a fatal whiplash and prevent a venomous bite.
It's not something I expect to see, so someone else will have to prove it.