Dead Rattlesnake Maybe Killed by Bunny - Pics Added

geekgranny

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Aug 20, 2009
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Pics tomorrow. edit Pictures added

As if it wasn't enough that I almost stepped on juvenile Rat Snake :shock: (they are not venomous but are pretty aggressive and foul tempered and you can get an infection from any snake bite), about 30", in my converted garage last night, DH found, today, a decomposing Rattlesnake with big bunny "attached", both dead of course, 20 ft from the house behind our shed. Pics to follow tomorrow. We are going to turn it over to see the head and take more pics tomorrow. About the only thing left is the skeleton of the snake and bunny, and some fur and a rabbit foot on top.

Snake has 2" bottom plates and at least 10 rattles. So we are figuring about 2.5" to 3 " in diameter. Of course everything is well fed around here so he is probably approaching 40" or more.

We're wondering if maybe the bunny injured it enough to kill it. It was a pretty good sized bunny for this snake to handle. I have a pet snake, California King Snake, and we don't ever feed live food, rather frozen, thawed, because pet snakes, especially, can be injured by live prey.

Any thoughts. We've seen mice attack wild Rattlesnakes. But a few seconds after a strike they are incapacitated. Actually a pretty humane way to die, as it is so fast.

Ever heard of a bunny getting the best of a pretty good sized Rattlesnake?

We haven't seen any really large Rattlesnakes since the lake was filling up. Record sized Rattlesnakes crossed our yards, several a week. That's been about 15 years since we've seen a good sized one. Some newborns but that's it in 15 years. All the dogs get Rattlesnake vaccine.

Thoughts???? gg=alice

edit See this links and at bottom a YouTube of rabbit attacking

http://www.cairns.com.au/article/2009/09/15/63975_local-news.html

Rattlesnakes usually strike and then pull back waiting for prey to die. Note that, snake may have hold of rabbit on the back end. When we turn it over today we might get a better look to see if snake had started eating rabbit. Snake may have been injured enough to die before eating rabbit even if rabbit had died.

Bunny head left side middle.


Bunny head.


Bunny Foot


Snake Rattles


[youtube:27m48nn7]_y1oEXywV1M[/youtube:27m48nn7]
 

duraleigh

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Re: Dead Rattlesnake Maybe Killed by Bunny

Ever heard of a bunny getting the best of a pretty good sized Rattlesnake?
Absolutely, not but I guess it's feasible. Perhaps when the snake struck, the rabbit reflexively bit at the source (the snake's head) and penetrated his skull. That's an amazing thing, though!
 

257WbyMag

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That's a pretty cool find GG.

Unfortunately, if you have mice or rabbits around down here in Texas, you are likely going to have rattlesnakes.

A couple of years ago, my brother and I went out to the ranch (just east of Abilene) in September to prepare for deer season. This involves straightening out the 27 foot trailer on the property since that is where we sleep. We have always had mice in there of course and so we go and replenish the supply of sticky traps in there to get the mice down to a manageable level before it cools off and we start using the trailer. When we walked in, we found a very nice Western Diamondback shed on the kitchen floor. It was tip to tip about 4 feet long. Not huge, but it was in our trailer. We scoured that trailer looking for a snake but never found it. The first night of sleeping in there after that was a little bit worrisome for my brother. My telling him that our mere existence in that trailer would typically make any snake want to leave made little difference to him. He's a scaredy cat!
 

geekgranny

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257WbyMag said:
That's a pretty cool find GG.

Unfortunately, if you have mice or rabbits around down here in Texas, you are likely going to have rattlesnakes.

A couple of years ago, my brother and I went out to the ranch (just east of Abilene) in September to prepare for deer season. This involves straightening out the 27 foot trailer on the property since that is where we sleep. We have always had mice in there of course and so we go and replenish the supply of sticky traps in there to get the mice down to a manageable level before it cools off and we start using the trailer. When we walked in, we found a very nice Western Diamondback shed on the kitchen floor. It was tip to tip about 4 feet long. Not huge, but it was in our trailer. We scoured that trailer looking for a snake but never found it. The first night of sleeping in there after that was a little bit worrisome for my brother. My telling him that our mere existence in that trailer would typically make any snake want to leave made little difference to him. He's a scaredy cat!
Well, I can say I do like to be in control. I always get a startle when I happen upon one but recover pretty fast.

Oh yes we have rabbits and woods rats. We are surrounded on three sides by protected habitats and the protected State Park. Some of the protected habitat around us was donated land, by my neighbors, for the Audubon Society. They are building a learning center soon to open. We feed hundreds of birds off our big deck = woods rats.

We are more intimate with our snakes, in particular the Rat Snakes, Corals, Copperheads, and occasional Rattlesnakes, than we prefer. I've had several really close calls with Copperheads, that is almost stepping on them or getting really close to one coiled and ready to strike. My last old girl, Annie Mastiff, saved me a few times by growling and pointing at snakes. One weekend, when I was home alone, working out back with the back door open, a good sized Copperhead was on the door threshold coiled and ready. Annie was a few feet outside the door, pointing and growling, as I was approaching the door from inside. That one would have gotten me for sure.

Last summer we had a 7' rat snake living in the converted garage, this year it is a juvenile. We don't mind that at all as they catch the mice and rats. One year we tried the rat sticky things, but within a day they were covered with dust and leaves. I brought them in to throw away and one slipped down behind something. So I was out there doing something and heard a rustle. Turns out a 7' Rat Snake had gotten terribly stuck to the rat sticky board. We freed it using mineral oil. It was amazing how fast he took off once freed.

When the lake, Joe Pool, was filling in the 80's all the snakes were fleeing the flood. For a couple of years we frequently saw six footers around the fenced, mowed areas, and on the driveway.

When we first moved out here, 1986, we went to Sweetwater, to the Rattlesnake Roundup, to learn as much as possible about Rattlesnakes. I was told by someone that one of the record snakes, brought in to the roundup was caught right here in my woods.

According the the article, link below, the record length at the Roundup is 81", caught in 1993. That's 6'9". We have enough shedding from all the snakes out here that I know that the shed can be longer than the snake. I see that regularly with my pet Kingsnake, several times a year. I find Ratsnake sheds all over the place and yes, they do a bit of tree and vine climbing. I have pictures of a Copperhead that spent quite a bit of time outside the window by my computer console. Have some great silhouettes of it climbing the ivy growing over the window.

Dogs get bitten yearly by Copperheads, especially the younger dogs. That's why we bring them in at dusk and back out after dawn. Only Rattlesnake bite we know of was a visiting dog, Neapolitan Mastiff, who was bitten in early a.m. I didn't find her until she was in shock with head swollen twice normal size. Rushed her to closest vet to get started on fluids, then on to emergency hospital. She made it but I don't know how much antivenom it took; her owners paid the vet bill. I used to keep several vials of it here, and would take it to the vet with me when we had bites that we were unsure about. As I was on my way she would send someone to Methodist Central Hospital to pick up some more vials in case needed. It's really expensive stuff. The only time antivenom was used on one of my dogs, he went into anaphylaxis, and we almost lost him to that.

We were not happy to find this dead snake. It's been many years since we have seen a large one. Last one was a newborn in the pool skimmer a couple or three summers ago. It had been about 10 years before that since seeing one, another newborn in the pool.

Texas Corals get about 30". I have one in my freezer that is longer than 40". It may be a record. And yes, it is a Texas Coral: "Red on Yellow, Kill a Fellow, Red on Black, Venom Lack." They like to hang out right up by the foundation of the house. They are lightening fast and very hard to catch. Our Copperheads are quite "tame" and don't seem to mind crossing within inches of me or the dogs. They are easy to catch especially when they are breeding or ready to birth (live birth like Rattlesnakes). Breeding time females placid; males feisty though, but preoccupied with females. Rat Snakes and Hog nose aren't very shy either. We like having those two around. Wish we had King Snakes out here to eat the others. When we first moved out here we considered bringing in a bunch of King Snakes.

BTW... we really don't like killing snakes but we do it humanely. Put them in a sack and into freezer. They go into a sort of hibernation state really fast. After the pool became a frog pond (unfixed leak) we had an explosion of Copperheads, summer before last and last summer. We were catching 5-10, weekly, right up at the house. DH does a snake run every night. Knock on wood, he hasn't seen any Copper heads, yet, this year. Last year we caught several pregnant females so that probably helped a whole lot. I used to try to find homes for the Corals but ran out of "takers".

I've got some more pictures, we took today. DH figures the Rattlesnake was about 40". It had hold of the Rabbits back leg.

Picture of a weeks catch, last summer or the summer before.

There is an "urban" myth about a Western Diamondback, with pictures, that was 9 ft long. It is only a myth. Second link dispels the myth.

http://www.avhidesert.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=667

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=781201

gg=alice

 

geekgranny

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Well shoot, I've got to move on but wanted to post this. A few years ago I fed the squirrels and Painted Buntings (PBs prefer trays or ground) on the decking at the end of my pool. We had a huge bunny for at least two summers who guarded the feed from the Crows and Squirrels. We called her Super Bunny and she was one of the largest I've seen out here. She actually attacked them. They would scurry up the fence or, in the case of the crows, fly up to a post. They never challenged her. I never saw her injure one but it seems like she might have been capable. This all came to an end when Hilda Rottie presented her to me one night. Our wild bunnies are pretty tame. I can get within a few feet of mothers and youngsters, out in my gravel driveway area near the house, only feet from where DH found the "Rabbit Rattlesnake Duo"

[youtube:y43ohayz]z865Wow8sfg[/youtube:y43ohayz]
 

257WbyMag

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Feb 23, 2008
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Those copperheads are biters for sure. They will bite first and then leave unlike rattlers who would rather just leave. Working in the ER just north of Houston some years back, we would get someone almost every day in the spring and early summer with a bite from one. It was only serious on a very, very rare occasion. Most of the time, they got watched for a few hours, some analgesics, some Ancef, and some Phenergan for nausea. After 5 or 6 hours, we would send them home. We never had to use Cro-fab for copperhead bites. We did for rattlers on the rare occasion that a good bite would come in. Just not real common to have rattlers down that way. Did get a real coral snake envenomation in one night. That was amazing and yes, believe it or not, alcohol WAS involved.

Wear your shoes outside. That's the best prevention for copperheads. I would say that nine out of ten of the copper bites we saw were between 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. (dark outside), to a bare foot, on someone who was turning off the sprinkler. Most didn't realize what had hit them until later when their foot started to really hurt, swell, and turn colors.
 

waste

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Alice, not to blow off the rest of this great thread, did the rattler have any signs of having used the "Holy Hand grenade" (a la Monty Python)? :lol: Perhaps he counted to less than 3 or more than 3 before deploying it :-D

Nice thread and, if I were y'all and had consistent venomous snakes in MY yard - I'd move!!!! (or get more large rabbits)
 

geekgranny

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waste said:
Alice, not to blow off the rest of this great thread, did the rattler have any signs of having used the "Holy Hand grenade" (a la Monty Python)? :lol: Perhaps he counted to less than 3 or more than 3 before deploying it :-D

Nice thread and, if I were y'all and had consistent venomous snakes in MY yard - I'd move!!!! (or get more large rabbits)

:lol: :mrgreen: :lol:

Maybe that's why most the big Rattlers moved on because our bunnies are immune to even the "Holy Hand Grenades".

You mean these?

[youtube:367kofrf]xOrgLj9lOwk[/youtube:367kofrf]


[youtube:367kofrf]XcxKIJTb3Hg[/youtube:367kofrf]
 

geekgranny

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Aug 20, 2009
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North Central Texas
MikeInTN said:
Since we're on the subject of snakes, snakebites, coral snakes, etc...

I subscribe to Popular Mechanics, and last month's issue had an article about an impending shortage of antivenom for coral snakebites and also discusses shortages of scorpion and black widow antivenom. Here's the link, if you're interested.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science ... ck=main_sr
Thanks for posting that. It is scary. I'm not going to get into a political discussion, but shame on us (US). I guess the Scorpion antivenin is for scorpions more poisonous than what we have here. At least we have a few things here that aren't as deadly as other areas of the US.

It's really hard to get a Coral bite. When we catch any venomous snakes they frequently strike at the metal catcher and spray venom on the sack we put them in, even the Corals, so we are really careful handling any equipment. I always have little open scratches on my hands, arms, leg, and feet so don't want to get any venom on those. We, also, wear exam gloves when the dogs have fresh bites, just in case.

I've had one Black Widow bite and, although my reaction did not get to a life threatening stage, I don't want to go through it again. Probably will though. I get spider bites all the time. We have loads of Brown Recluse here but I've only had one very small reaction to a BR bite. The only way we knew what kind of bites they were, was from the symptoms afterwards, both BW and BR. Of course people don't hear about the hundreds/thousands of bites that don't amount to much. BTW... we've seen many Rattlesnakes give dry bites to rodents when they aren't hungry.

I'm not too worried about Copperhead bites in terms of survival but would rather not have to deal with it. I don't like getting bitten by any snake.

gg=alice
 

geekgranny

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One of today's pictures after DH turned "duo" over. Note bunny leg bone. Snake's bottom jaw under bone so snake did have a hold on bunny. Sure wish we'd found them sooner.

 

geekgranny

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257WbyMag said:
Those copperheads are biters for sure. They will bite first and then leave unlike rattlers who would rather just leave. Working in the ER just north of Houston some years back, we would get someone almost every day in the spring and early summer with a bite from one. It was only serious on a very, very rare occasion. Most of the time, they got watched for a few hours, some analgesics, some Ancef, and some Phenergan for nausea. After 5 or 6 hours, we would send them home. We never had to use Cro-fab for copperhead bites. We did for rattlers on the rare occasion that a good bite would come in. Just not real common to have rattlers down that way. Did get a real coral snake envenomation in one night. That was amazing and yes, believe it or not, alcohol WAS involved.

Wear your shoes outside. That's the best prevention for copperheads. I would say that nine out of ten of the copper bites we saw were between 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. (dark outside), to a bare foot, on someone who was turning off the sprinkler. Most didn't realize what had hit them until later when their foot started to really hurt, swell, and turn colors.
Shoes are mandatory especially outside. When I have to work in shaded areas with heavy vines I wear boots and snake chaps. Flashlights, always, where lighting isn't good, always going to the cars at night, and send them home with visiting neighbors (who never come over with one). We keep a box of cheap flashlights to send out. It is really easy to almost step on them when the surface is close in color to theirs. The juvenile ratsnake in the garage, the other night, looked like some water that was leaking from the fridge. I instinctively stepped over it and then saw it move. I should know, by now, not to get in a hurry, especially when the lighting isn't good. He was stretched out and not coiled but could have gotten me if I'd stepped on him. That bite would require antibiotics and I hate taking them. The absolute most aggressive are the newly hatched Green Racers. They start striking when you get near them. I had several of them in the pool drain (sans grate) when I had it drained for acid wash. They started thrashing in the small amount of water, like minnows in a bucket. The moment I reached in to get one another latched on to me. Couldn't even feel it of course. I knew they weren't venomous as they were so small and by color. Copperhead and Rattlesnakes look like adults when first born.

I've seen some pictures of really nasty reactions to Copperhead bites, humans only. But then again, you usually only come across the really drastic pictures. All of my dogs have always recovered really fast. The only ones that seemed overly sensitive are my two Labradoodles. They both started acting shocky before much swelling had even started. Both of those were on legs. The Mastiffs and Rotties, who rarely ever had anything but face bites, hardly even "complained", even after a lot of swelling had occurred. I guess it's the warrior in them. I did have one Mastiff who recovered from a Copperhead bite, on hock, but then developed a bone infection and went into renal failure. We saved him but he didn't live as long as we would have wanted. He was on IVs for a lengthy time. When he started eating the only thing he would eat for over a month was strained liver baby food, that comes in the tiny jars. Imagine how many jars we went through for a 180 lb dog, but he was down to about 150 by then. (High protein is not the best for recovering kidney failure but that's one of the few things dogs will eat when they have been off food for weeks.) I think dogs do better than humans with Copperhead bites. We've never had to give analgesics. In a day they are as good as new, even the sissy Doodles. A couple of little scars left or a few white hairs grown in.

I figured you are a doctor or RN. It certainly comes in handy for us to be medically trained, especially living out here.

Do you watch Dr. G or Forensic Files? We are totally hooked. :mrgreen:

gg=alice
 

geekgranny

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Aug 20, 2009
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waste said:
Nice thread and, if I were y'all and had consistent venomous snakes in MY yard - I'd move!!!! (or get more large rabbits)
We have boo-koos of rabbits, well fed, large plain ol' cotton tails. We have to drive in/out the drive very slowly, parts of the day, as they dash in an out of the woods, the whole way. Sometimes they run quite a way in front of the car. At least they don't attempt suicide the way the squirrels always do out on the road. I don't know what it is about the gravel, "car yard", near the house, but there are usually some bunnies out there grazing, especially in the late afternoon and early a.m.; frequently mothers and youngsters. I, occasionally get close enough to them to almost step on them. When they dash off it certainly gets the adrenalin going.

I haven't mentioned how much DH hates spider webs. It's pretty funny. We usually have one, with big web, filling the top part of the door out of garage, just tall enough for DH to walk through. He's still traumatized by a huge spider, spider bite he got as a kid. He doesn't seem to mind the spiders; just the webs that are all over the place out here. It's amazing how fast they rebuild their webs.

It's really too beautiful to leave here. And we are only a 30 minute drive into Dallas or Fort Worth.

gg=alice
 

whoozer

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Apr 2, 2008
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Acton Maine
OHHHH YUCK!!!! Interesting but makes me have to rethink visiting the Texas thing. No offense but I hate snakes! Ever since my cat brought a live one into my kitchen in the night and I woke up to pee and stepped on it. Nope the idea of one that bites and could kill, makes me sick just thinking about it. I'll admire from afar thank you:)
 

cheddar85

Well-known member
Feb 18, 2010
271
Houston, TX
Ok, just had to say, in reference to the doped up rabbit..

Git 'em rabbit! Sic 'em! Good boy, here's your treat!

Anyways, yuck! I've already told my copperhead at the pool story here, so no need to mention that. BUT...when I was 15 or 16 I woke up in the middle of the night with something crawling on my neck. Turned out to be a female (pregnant) black widow! I kept her as a pet. She made her egg sac the first day in her new home. When the babies hatched....she killed them. Then again...I wonder if they killed her too because she died a couple days after they were born.

I don't know if that's normal for spiders, and I really don't care to! I HATE spiders! (don't ask why I kept her for a pet)
 

geekgranny

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Aug 20, 2009
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North Central Texas
whoozer said:
OHHHH YUCK!!!! Interesting but makes me have to rethink visiting the Texas thing. No offense but I hate snakes! Ever since my cat brought a live one into my kitchen in the night and I woke up to pee and stepped on it. Nope the idea of one that bites and could kill, makes me sick just thinking about it. I'll admire from afar thank you:)
Thinking about it is worse than living it. One just develops good habits. I grew up in KY, smack dab in the middle of the Blue Grass, where there were few nasty critters. I was in college before I saw my first KY copperhead, at our cabin, on KY river. But that was way up the "hill" in the woods away from human activity.

Out here, along all the walking and biking paths, in the woods, there are plenty of signs reminding people to be aware of the snakes.

There are plenty of more "civilized" areas in Texas. We just happen to be in the middle of a very "wild" area. The first month we moved out here, we had a baby Rattlesnake in the dining room. Of course the back door was open. Most people keep their doors shut. That helps a lot. We probably have more bird feeders than anyone in the area too. That certainly attracts small (and large) mammals. The biggest problem we have with the venomous snakes is dog bites and almost always Copperheads, that are far more likely to stand their ground than the others but they have the least toxic venom.

Our Hognose snakes (non venomous) are big and frequently ugly and quite amusing. They are often mistaken for Rattlesnakes if they have bright patterning (that varies wildly). When they can't escape they hiss, shake their tails, rare up and flatten their "necks" like Cobra, and then strike if all that doesn't work. They usually miss though and aren't actually biting. If all else fails they roll over and play dead.

It's rarely boring out here; perfect living conditions for the adventurer and nature lover. Despite the wild critters, it is a lot safer for children than most environments.

gg=alice
 

geekgranny

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Aug 20, 2009
1,358
North Central Texas
cheddar85 said:
Ok, just had to say, in reference to the doped up rabbit..

Git 'em rabbit! Sic 'em! Good boy, here's your treat!

Anyways, yuck! I've already told my copperhead at the pool story here, so no need to mention that. BUT...when I was 15 or 16 I woke up in the middle of the night with something crawling on my neck. Turned out to be a female (pregnant) black widow! I kept her as a pet. She made her egg sac the first day in her new home. When the babies hatched....she killed them. Then again...I wonder if they killed her too because she died a couple days after they were born.

I don't know if that's normal for spiders, and I really don't care to! I HATE spiders! (don't ask why I kept her for a pet)
Most of us do things, when we are growing up, we shutter to think about when we reach adulthood. I just refuse to "grow up".

Was that when one crawled across your food when you were cleaning the pool? See how "tame" they are? :rant: That's pretty scary.

We have a very healthy population of Texas (or Oklahoma) Brown Tarantulas. They are one of the most docile of all tarantulas and make excellent pets. On occasion we've had one take up residence in our kitchen. All others are gently carried outside to safety. DH always makes a hide box for them. DH left the freezer door open one night, T crawled in, I shut the door, and we woke up to frozen T the next morning. The dogs aren't allowed to mess with them and learn that T's are another "No, that's Momma's Toy". Workers, out here are threatened with shattered knee caps if I find out they have intentionally harmed one. We have a really big wasp, Tarantula Hawk, that preys on the T's. They only paralyze them then lay one egg. The larva then feeds on the live T. Really sad to see one attacking a T. The body of this hornet is about 2". Their sting is rated as one of the most painful in the insect world. I've never been stung by one. They rarely sting. Their only real enemy is the Roadrunner. We have those too. Now, they are quite entertaining especially when they attempt to steal objects around the yard and deck. They have a habit of "attemping suicide" on the road too, but not nearly as bad, or well done as the squirrels. Most of the houses out here have fancy brick or stone mail boxes pretty close to the narrow, winding road. Several times a year one gets demolished by autos. I figure some of those are the result of critters dashing across the road.

Rarely dull out here. :wink:

gg=alice
 
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