LOOK: Georgia Man Wrestles Whitetail Fawn Free From Strangling by Rat Snake

by Lauren Boisvert

Good Guy Georgia Man saved a whitetail fawn from being strangled by a 6-foot rat snake near his yard in late June. Athens, GA resident Mike Rupert was in the middle of renovating his house when he noticed the fawn near a woodpile. There was something black wrapped around its chest; the rat snake. He thought the deer was dead, but, miraculously, he saw it try and take a breath. That’s when he knew he had to do something.

Rupert managed to slide a stick between the deer and the snake constricting it. He recounted the story to the National Deer Association on Instagram. He also shared photos of the fawn during the snake attack and a day after.

“That was really the first time I think the snake even knew I was there,” Rupert recalled. “As I got that stick underneath him I realized the snake was not only wrapped around the fawn’s chest, but also the top of its neck. When I got the stick in there the snake relaxed some and the fawn struggled to its feet. It was really wobbly at first, and it was then I realized the snake was also wrapped around the fawn’s legs. Finally the fawn—which was maybe two feet tall—got its feet free and then it really bounded off. It was anxious to get out of there.”

Man Saves Fawn From Rat Snake, Spots Fawn In Same Place a Day Later

The next day, Rupert spotted the fawn again, sans snake, in the same spot outdoors by the woodpile. “It was actually there for a few hours every day for the next four days, so I guess it felt safe,” he speculated.

“I think the fawn was just doing what fawns do; lying still when they encounter danger,” he continued, speaking of the snake incident. “And the snake was just doing what snakes do; constricting around a warm body that might be prey. It was almost like the snake had to think ‘Well I’ll kill this thing now and figure out how to eat it later.’ I don’t think there’s going to be a fawn-killing snake problem around here.”

According to Rupert, there was no way the snake could have eaten that fawn. “It was a big snake, but there was no way it could have swallowed that fawn,” he shared on Instagram. “The fawn was too big.”

The National Deer Association also mentioned that snakes aren’t usually high on the predator list for whitetail deer. Except, maybe in Florida, where irresponsible Burmese python owners have been releasing their snakes into the Everglades. There, the invasive pythons are shown to devour even adult whitetail deer. In the Everglades, the South Florida Water Management District has set up a python elimination program. This program pays hunters who kill the snakes. But, it’s nice to know that, outside of the Everglades, snakes aren’t really a problem for deer. More often, it’s irresponsible hunters.