Box Turtle Battles Rattlesnake

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February 13, 2019
Wild America’s Marty Stouffer (Podcast)
February 27, 2019

When Diane James walked into her backyard in Post, TX she did not expect to see a rattlesnake. Nor did she expect to see an ornate box turtle killing and eating one.

But that is exactly what she saw and was able to capture the following images.

It might be hard to imagine a box turtle (a cute species often kept as pets) killing and eating a rattlesnakes but these turtles are omnivores. That means they eat plant and vegetable material.

When I was just out of high school, a science teacher in Wichita, KS who kept a box turtle in his classroom put a small live mouse in its enclosure and the turtle attacked and ate it.

I was stunned. This was like re-learning what I had learned about nature growing up.

A mouse is one thing but a rattlesnake is another and this particular box turtle does it with reckless abandon. I hope you enjoy this unique look into the trials and tribulations of nature. Often we look at the great acts of predation as lion versus Cape buffalo and wolves battling bull moose but a predator is a predator.

And sometimes you don’t think of certain kinds of animals being predators but nature survives at any cost.

On the flip side coyotes are one of the top predators in America and in fact are the apex predator in many ecosystems yet when typical prey items are low they will survive on vegetation. Grizzly bears love salmon and will take down an elk but eat a lot of vegetation.

If you want a look into wildlife make sure you check out our Wildlife Wednesday newsletter every week and keep up with the stories I post here at It’s not just about hunting and fishing but also the amazing creatures we see while enjoying those pursuits.

Chester Moore, Jr.



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