Few people in the world like snakes, and animals are no different. In fact, many animals seem to have a particular disdain for the slithery reptiles. Some kill them out of self defense, while others kill them for the sake of eating them. Keep reading to learn more about some of the animals that kill snakes.
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Animals That Kill Snakes
Mongooses are adorable little creatures, but they transform into killing machines when snakes are in their territory.
In fact, mongooses are known for picking fights with snakes, especially cobras. They are immune to venom and have a thick coat of fur to further protect them against snakebites.
Thanks to these adaptations, they are highly resistant to injuries from doing battle with even the most dangerous of snakes.
Check out this video of a mongoose killing a deadly black mamba:
2. Honey Badgers
As the name suggests, honey badgers prefer to eat honey and honey bees. That said, they are omnivores that will eat a wide variety of foods, including snakes.
Like mongooses, honey badgers are impervious to venom, so it’s a simple task for them to take on snakes that would likely kill other animals.
Honey badgers will eat both venomous and non-venomous snakes, killing them quickly with a crushing blow to the head.
3. Birds of Prey
There are many different kinds of birds that will kill snakes, especially those known as birds of prey.
Most birds of prey are capable of killing snakes, including falcons, hawks, eagles, and herons. Those particularly known for their snake-killing skills include the great horned owl and the red-tailed hawk.
Interestingly, some other types of bird can also kill snakes when defending themselves or their young. Turkeys in particular are known for displaying this defensive behavior, but even chickens are capable of killing some small snakes that threaten their nest.
All of these birds kill snakes by crushing their head in their talons or by pecking the snake to death with their sharp beak.
4. Wild Hogs
Wild hogs will basically eat anything, even indigestible items like trash and plastic. They enjoy eating snakes, especially rattlesnakes.
They are not completely immune to the venom, but they are not as badly affected by it as many animals are. They don’t seem to care about getting bit, and they often appear to enjoy the challenge of killing rattlesnakes.
Hedgehogs are small, harmless looking animals, but they have a natural defense against snakes: the sharp spikes covering their bodies.
When a snake attempts to strike a hedgehog, it winds up with a mouthful of these spikes. This often injures the snake.
Once the snake has injured itself on the hedgehog’s spikes, the hedgehog will bite down hard on the snake’s head, delivering the killing blow.
Coyotes are omnivores, which means they will eat both plants and animals. When they have a taste for meat, they can be excellent hunters.
Coyotes will eat almost anything that is available to them, including snakes. They can kill a variety of different snakes simply by delivering a crushing blow to the head.
After the snake is dead, the coyote will eat it whole.
Like coyotes, foxes belong to the Canidae family–in other words, they are both types of wild dogs. Also like coyotes, foxes are opportunistic omnivores and will eat whatever is available to them.
Foxes prefer meat over plant-based foods; they will only eat plants if they are hungry and cannot find a suitable source of meat. They eat many different kinds of meat, including snakes.
They are not immune to snake venom, so they typically leave the venomous snakes alone. That said, they do seem to enjoy eating small, harmless, non-venomous snakes, such as garters.
Raccoons are also omnivores, and like wild hogs, they have been known to eat just about anything they can find, whether it is digestible or not.
Raccoons are smart animals. They know they cannot kill snakes using their own brute strength, so they will kill them by using a rock to crush their head.
After killing the snake, the raccoon will eat it, as it provides a great source of nutrients.
Sometimes domesticated dogs will kill snakes, especially those living on farms or those trained to hunt snakes.
Many different dog breeds can be trained to hunt and kill snakes. The Scottish terrier was specifically bred to hunt both snakes and rodents, so dogs of this breed are naturally adept at killing snakes.
That said, no dog breed has natural immunity to snake venom, so they can be seriously injured or killed if they decide to take on a venomous snake.
Both wild and domesticated horses will kill snakes to defend themselves. They will not stop to determine if the snake is venomous or not; they will kill it first and ask questions later.
Horses kill snakes by stomping them to death. They will repeatedly rear up on their hind legs, then bring down their full weight upon the intruder.
Not all horses attack snakes, as some will simply run away. But if the horse is the leader of the pack, there’s a good chance the snake will not make it out of the encounter alive.
Like horses, cows and bulls do not take kindly to snakes. They will do whatever it takes to protect themselves from getting bit, even if the snake is not venomous.
Cows also kill snakes by stomping them to death, bringing the full weight of their bodies down upon the offending reptiles. Those with horns may also gore them to death.
12. Other Snakes
Many snakes are cannibalistic. Larger snake species often eat smaller species; sometimes, even adults will eat juveniles within the same species.
Constrictors such as pythons and boas will wrap their large bodies around their unfortunate prey, crushing and suffocating them. Vipers will use their venom-filled fangs to strike, incapacitating and killing their victims.
Sometimes, larger snakes will simply capture smaller ones and swallow them whole.
There are many animals in the world that kill snakes, and they use a variety of methods for doing so. Some of the animals most known for their snake killing abilities include mongooses, honey badgers, hedgehogs, coyotes, and various birds of prey.