In the early hours of Wednesday morning, a shocking scene played out in a residential neighborhood in San Antonio, Texas. A snake, apparently having consumed an entire rat, began to writhe in pain before ultimately exploding.
The grisly scene was discovered by a woman who was out walking her dog. She initially thought the snake was dead, but upon closer inspection, she realized it was still alive and in distress.
The snake appeared to be a common rat snake, which is non-venomous. It is not clear how the snake got into the homeowner’s yard or how long it had been there.
The snake’s body was significantly distended, and its skin was stretched tight. Blood and guts were oozing out of its mouth and nose.
The woman called animal control, but by the time they arrived, the snake had exploded. They did not attempt to clean up the mess, as it was clear there was nothing they could do for the snake.
While it is not clear what caused the snake to explode, it is believed that the rat it had consumed was too large for its digestive system. When snakes eat their prey whole, they typically constrict it to kill it and then swallow it head-first.
This allows the body of the prey to be digested while the head is held in the snake’s mouth. In this case, it is believed that the rat was too large for the snake to constrict and digest properly, leading to its eventual explosion.
While it is certainly a rare event, this is not the first time a snake has exploded after consuming an oversized meal. In 2015, a similar incident occurred in India when a python exploded after swallowing a porcupine.
This event highlights the dangers that snakes face when they attempt to consume prey that is too large for their body. While it is an instinctual behavior, it can often lead to fatal consequences.