Thank you to Daily Dose subscriber and patroller Grannville “Granny” Grant for alerting us to this unusual sight of a Coachwhip slowly devouring a Western Diamondback rattler on the trail between the parking lot and Bear Bridge this morning (7/9/2016). Size is difficult to get from this photo, but both snakes were about five feet long. The Western Diamondback has 6 rattles.
|Photo by Mark Hengesbaugh 7/9/2016|
Mark got an update from Granny:
He waited around to see the whole process. After 40 minutes the Coachwhip slowly backed away and disgorged the Diamondback uneaten. Granny said the Coachwhip then slowly sniffed the entire length of the upside-down rattler and calmly crawled away. Granny picked up a stick to move the apparently dead rattler that had two puncture wounds on its head and the snake jumped back to life, rattling and striking.
Granny sent me his videos and graciously allowed me to upload to youtube for your viewing pleasure.
The question remains: how did the coachwhip catch the d-back unawares? Perhaps the d-back was sleeping off a meal. I note that s/he's bulging a bit in the middle!!
Thanks to Mark and Granny for being on the scene in Sabino for this once-in-a-lifetime story!