WATCH: Snapping Turtle Absolutely Shreds a Huge Snake in Brutal Video

by Sean Griffin

Back in 2015, Kerry Wix was fishing at Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee. While fishing, he suddenly noticed a big northern water snake that appeared to be thrashing and headed toward a concrete spillway at the shore. However, Wix noted that despite thrashing, it couldn’t seem to move on its own. He soon discovered that a snapping turtle was the culprit.

 “I couldn’t tell what was going on, but you know me: I always have a camera handy,” Wix, a professional photographer, told Field & Stream after the incident. Wix placed a GoPro beneath the surface and revealed what was getting the snake

This common snapping turtle held the snake’s tail in his clenched jaws. The turtle’s sharp claws also began shredding chunks of skin off the snake’s flesh. Then, at one point, the snake popped up out of the water and breathes. Its fangs come out, and it looks directly at the camera seemingly. However, it couldn’t release itself from the turtle.

When the snake did briefly break loose from the turtle, who was swallowing part of the snake’s flesh, it couldn’t even muster the strength to swim away. Eventually, the turtle grabbed its injured tail and chomped its jaws. The snapper kept eating and eventually scampered off near its enclave with the snake in its grip.

The video has racked up over 5 million views and can be viewed below.

Snapping Turtle Expert Analyzes Insane Video

Dustin Garig is a biologist supervisor in the wildlife diversity program for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. He claims the video shows a rare look into the predatory behavior of the common snapping turtle.

“This is very rare to catch on film because snapping turtles spend about 90 percent of their lives underwater,” Garig says. “You might see one cross a road occasionally or maybe a fisherman catches one, but typically, you don’t see these guys.”

We know that snappers are omnivores. They also get most of their nutrition from aquatic animals. Snapping turtle stomach contents have contained fish, tadpoles, frogs, birds (even ducks), snakes, and other turtles. However, what’s not always certain is how each turtle ended up winning those battles.

“Sure, people have found snakes in the stomachs of turtles, but I would more likely have assumed that the snake was dead when the turtle found it,” Garig states. “You wouldn’t necessarily assume it’s able to take down a snake like this. I don’t typically think of snapping turtles actively going after big snakes. This is one ambitious turtle.”

Garig estimates the turtle’s shell is about one foot long. He believes its weight to be about 18-20 pounds. These turtles mature around 11-13 years old, but Garig believes the one in the video is a little older. He thinks our hardcore hunter in the video is about 15 years old.

Garig estimates the turtle’s shell is about a foot long and its weight is 18 to 20 pounds. Snapping turtles mature around 11 to 13 years old. The one in the video is an adult that Garig estimates is probably around 15 years old. Adult northern water snakes range between 2 and 4-1/2 feet long, and the one the snapper took down measured around 4 feet long.