rat snake eating a copperhead rattlesnake 2I was walking along a path in Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge when I heard lots of rustling behind where I had just come from. I turned back and saw a black snake flopping around on the ground and then all of a sudden it stopped.  I raced back with my camera and started taking pictures. It wasn’t until I got close enough that I realized this black racer had ambushed a juvenile copperhead  (venomous) and was in the process of eating it!  The only way this snake would be able to eat the venomous copperhead without dying is if it managed to get the head into it’s mouth before the snake could bite it, and then suffocate it to death which must have been what the initial rustling was. The next few photos are of the racer consuming the copperhead, an event that to my knowledge has never been documented or photographed before!

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