Do raccoons eat snakes? Yes, raccoons do eat snakes occasionally; however, it’s not their first choice of a meal.
Raccoons are omnivores and eat everything from plants, insects and small animals to human garbage. Raccoons also have a rather eclectic taste for pets. But, do raccoons eat snakes? It is a question that goes back a long time. Considering the variety of diets that raccoons enjoy, the main question of this topic would be: “Can snakes be included in their diet at all?” The answer goes like this – yes, they certainly can! Raccoons are omnivorous animals, eating both plant and animal foods.
Raccoons, with their masked faces and bandit-like ringed tails, are among the most popular animals in the United States. These crafty creatures, who are related to bears and weasels but generally resemble cats, almost always attract curious onlookers. If you live near a city skyline or have spent time in a rural area close to nature, chances are you have seen a raccoon scaling trees or scavenging for food.
Their diverse diet is one reason that raccoons have been able to adapt so easily to virtually any environment; they are also intelligent, playful and efficient predators and scavengers. Raccoon habitats vary widely across the United States because the animals can thrive almost anywhere — from wilderness areas to middle-class suburban backyards. Because they are so widespread, people tend to see raccoons at all times of the year.
How Raccoons Catch Snakes
Raccoons are omnivorous mammals that, like humans, have a varied diet. They have been known to eat poultry, fish, fruit, eggs, insects, small rodents and snakes.
The snakes that coexist with raccoons are typically the ones that are not poisonous. Snakes are an occasional part of a raccoon’s diet, but they are not a preferred source of food. The raccoon is a crafty creature who will catch his prey in any way he can. He’ll search for the snake’s den and wait until the snake emerges to eat. If the snake is a big one, the raccoon will attempt to corner it before it attacks.
He will then get on his hind legs and wrestle the snake into submission by following these steps:
Step 1: Carefully approach the snake and try to get it in a position where it is coiled up and its head is visible.
Step 2: Flatten out one paw and use it to steady himself.
Flatten out one paw and use it to steady himself. Sometimes he will hold the snake down with his teeth while steadying it with his foot; other times he will attack with both paws at once. After he has pinned down the snake, he eats it whole by pushing it head-first into his mouth. Raccoons are able to do this because their flexible lips close behind their teeth, so the snake can’t escape.
If the snake is venomous, the raccoon will be bitten during this process. However, a raccoon’s thick fur protects him from most of the damage caused by a bite. The raccoon’s immune system also helps him overcome venom that would kill other animals. With some species of snakes, however, being bitten can be fatal for a raccoon.
To keep from being bitten by the snake, the raccoon will use various techniques: Flatten out one paw and use it to steady himself against the snake as he eats it. Kill the snake before eating it. For snakes with fangs, he will burrow his head into the neck area and go for the jugular vein to kill it. For constricting snakes, he may use his teeth to tear off pieces of flesh from the body until he can get to the head and kill it.
Step 3: If the snake is long, the raccoon will need to use both front paws. He will push on the snake’s back with his head so he doesn’t bite himself.
Step 4: Raise his head up high over the snake’s head so he can see where he is going, as well as possible danger spots (such as rattles), and to give him room to maneuver his mouth around the snake’s head while keeping his own body out of range.
Step 5: Get closer so he is face-to-face with the snake. He will then ruffle his fur and position himself so that he can latch on to the sides of the snake’s head with his sharp teeth.
Step 6: He will grab onto the snake and start to flip it around to get a good grip on it. He takes his time making sure he has a good hold of it. This is important because if he lets go of the snake, he could injure himself. The coon will grab onto the snake with one paw, while holding onto a tree branch with another paw. He will pull the snake towards him and wrap it around his body to secure it in place.
Step 7: Start twisting and pulling at the same time, until the snake starts to come apart into smaller pieces. He wants to do this as quickly as possible, before the snake tries to bite it or escape from your grasp.
Step 8: The raccoon will then bite into the sides of the snake’s head and shake it violently back and forth until it is dead or severely injured (if not both).
Step 9: When he has the snake’s head in his mouth, he will begin to dig into the neck area of the snake. The snake will begin to struggle and try to hide in a hole or under some rocks. Once he has a good grip on the snake’s head, he will shake it violently until its spine cracks. This will stun the snake temporarily, giving him enough time to take a few steps back. He will then bite down on the back of its neck to snap its vertebrae and break into its skull.
Step 10: The raccoon will not give up until it has completely eaten the snake from head to tail.
That’s the answer to the general question; “do raccoons eat snakes?”
Raccoons love to eat any kind of food, and that includes snakes. Raccoons are also known for their intelligence, which helps them hunt for food. A raccoon’s diet consists of plants, insects, turtles and small animals. Snakes fall into the “small animals” category.
Typically, they will hunt and eat snakes in spring when their body mass is at its lowest because they do not store as many fat reserves as they do in autumn or winter. This makes them more vulnerable to snake bites. Luckily, raccoons have a thick hide that protects them from snake bites and most other dangers in the wild.