Seventh-graders on a field trip in Northlake, Texas witnessed Mother Nature at her finest on Monday.
A western rat snake was seen wrapped around a large red-tail hawk, which was likely hoping to make the serpent its next meal. The middle schoolers came across the wild scene at the Northwest Independent School District’s Outdoor Learning Center, a nearly 200-acre site with ponds, wildflowers and wildlife. . .
Either the reptile or the bird let go of the other, though it’s not clear which one relinquished its hold first, per a Texas Parks and Wildlife-DFW Urban Wildlife Facebook post which describes the scene. The social media message had more than 4,000 reactions and 2,000 shares as of Thursday morning. . .
“The snake strikes out, secures a grip with its teeth and immediately wraps its body around the animal. Once the coils are around the animal, the snake flexes its muscles as the prey exhales. This prevents the prey from inhaling another breath and it eventually dies of suffocation,” the research center explains on its website, noting rat snakes are “bold and ready to defend themselves from perceived threats.”
Red-tailed hawks, on the other hand, are known to feed on snakes, rats, rabbits and other small mammals, birds and reptiles. The creatures typically spot their prey from a perch above, swoop down and then capture it with their talons, according to the National Audubon Society. (Read more from “Huge Snake Strangles Hawk in ‘Life-Or-Death Battle’, Stunning Photos Show” HERE)