Headless snake “attacks” Alabama man

State / Regional

A video that’s been popular on social media shows a headless rattlesnake appearing to strike at a man about an hour after it was killed. It’s left a lot of people scratching their heads.

“I shot the snake. I just left it laying there for probably 45 minutes to an hour and continued doing what I was doing,” said Bill Forbus.  Forbus was working in his garden when he spotted the rattlesnake.

When he was done working, he put it in the bed of his truck and drove it a few miles to show it off to his dad and brother, “I just had this little ole set of grabbers here, and he was laying in here in the bed. I grabbed him and pulled him back towards me over there, well when he come, he come up level with this bed and he knocked these out of my hand and back down into the bed of the truck. We pretty much decided to just to leave him alone after that. That thing had no head, and anywhere I walked around this truck and touched him, it was like he knew where I was coming from.”

That’s exactly what was happening, according to the Alabama Wildlife Federation’s snake expert Tyler Harris, “there’s no brain, so it’s reflex.” Harris says snakes don’t require the same elements to stay alive that humans need. It comes down to them being cold blooded, and not depending on oxygen and blood pressure very much for their responses.”

So, a snake’s death doesn’t mirror ours either says Harris “they don’t really need that much oxygen to begin with, so that energy can stay and travel and go a lot slower and longer in them than it would us.

For Forbus.. This experienced has changed his perspective a little, “pay close attention to what you’re dealing with.”

But not completely, “I’m not a snake fan to start with. The best snake is a dead snake.”

Of course, Harris disagrees. “if you do encounter one, it is startling, but it’s ultimately up to you to turn around and go the other way. You’re a threat, you’re not food, you’re a threat. You’re big, you have arms, legs, you have a voice. You’re the one that can make the decision to walk away from the situation.”

Harris also said rattlesnakes help with rodent control and can kill up to 45-thousand ticks a year.

She recommends using a broomstick to rustle bushes if you see a snake there … Or use a hose with a light stream of water to scare it away.

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