When it comes to viral snake attacks, it’s not often the internet sides with the snake. Then a horrific video showing the aftermath of a snake’s attempt at snacking on a porcupine surfaced, however, and even the most reptile-fearing social media user had to wince at the predator’s pain.
In the animal kingdom, even apex predators have certain species that they won’t attempt to hunt. Crocodiles, for example, can often be seen lounging on the shore with capybaras, entirely uninterested in the massive rodent. Under the sea, sharks avoid the cunning dolphin, knowing it would respond with a coordinated attack from the entire pod.
Typically, porcupines are on this list as well. Most predators only go after the prickly rodent on occasion (with the exception of the fearless fisher), opting instead for easier prey. One snake, however, decided to try its luck against a porcupine’s spiked armor – and instantly came to regret it.
In the video, a massive boa constrictor writhes in pain, every inch of its scaled skin covered in sharp quills. If you look closely, you can see that the snake even has porcupine quills stuck in its mouth, wedging its jaws open.
The man recording the video explained that the snake didn’t even get as far as eating the porcupine. In addition to suffering excruciating injuries, the boa constrictor’s lunch escaped.
Giant Snake Likely Didn’t Survive Porcupine’s Revenge
Though the incident itself wasn’t filmed, the placement of the quills make it fairly easy to guess what happened. The majority of the quills are on one side of the snake’s body, along with the few jutting from its jaws.
Like other constrictors, boas attack not with lethal venom but by coiling around them and applying pressure. In doing so, they cut off the blood supply to their prey’s brain and heart. Only then do they bite.
This snake did just that, coiling itself around the porcupine and preparing to bite. Unfortunately for the boa constrictor, however, the rodent went into survival mode.
When the snake attacked, the porcupine bristled, its loosely attached quills impaling the predator’s tender scales and mouth. Thanks to the pressure exerted by the boa, the quills went even deeper than they typically would have.
In pain, the snake released its prey, but the ordeal was far from over. A dog then charges toward the quill-covered boa, causing the snake to coil in fear, which only pressed the quills in further.
It’s unclear what happened to the snake, but many predators starve or die of infection after a porcupine attack if they can’t free themselves from the quills. As this snake was covered in a few hundred barbs, it’s unlikely it survived the ill-advised attempt at lunch.