HomeOutdoorsViralWATCH: Snake Filmed Swallowing a Live American Eel Whole

WATCH: Snake Filmed Swallowing a Live American Eel Whole

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: Kristian Bell

Snakes have been known to feast on various types and sizes of animals. Snakes will chow down on nearly anything from guinea pigs to bean slugs.

Recently, someone spotted a snake trying to swallow an eel. However, the long slimy fish put up one heck of a fight. In a video posted to Facebook by the Wildlife Resources Division of Georgia Department Of Natural Resources (DNR), viewers watch in horror as the tussle plays out. You can see the snake having a tough time getting his meal down, as the eel is the same size as the snake.

“One of our biologists walked up on a predation event in a Liberty County swamp last week: A southern banded water snake wrestling an American eel,” wrote the agency in the post’s caption. “The two were observed splashing around in the shallow water.”

After posting the clip, users left their remarks about the viral video. “Mother Nature at her finest,” wrote one user under the post.

According to wildlife experts, you’ll likely see Southern banded water snakes throughout the south and the southeastern part of the country. They also inhabit “nearly all freshwater habitats including ponds, lakes, streams, rivers, wetlands, swamps, and marshes,” per reports from the Georgia DNR.

In addition, this species can grow to between 24 and 42 inches, with the longest-ever measuring 62.5 inches long. The slithering species are also named for their distinctive banded stripes. However, they get harder to notice if the snake is darker in color or older, as their skin gets darker as they age.

American Eel listed as endangered species

For food, most of these snakes typically devour fish and frogs. They can also use their vomeronasal organ to detect prey. They can locate their unique proteins called parvalbumins on the mucus of the skin of frogs and other fish varieties. The American eels can grow up to four feet in length. They also have a thick mucus covering their skin.

As for the American eels, they’re the only species of freshwater eel seen in the U.S. This variety of eels also mostly lives in rivers and estuaries. However, as they get older, they swim off the east coast of the U.S. to procreate.

Baby eels are then born in the Sargasso Sea, then a year later, the fish swim to rivers and estuaries. When they reach spawning age, they migrate back and pass away in the Sargasso Sea.

Additionally, these eels are listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. In addition to snakes, fellow fish, birds, and other eels typically feast on young American eels.