A snake researcher documenting a venomous cottonmouth turf war in North Carolina saw the tense fight go berserk as a self-absorbed raccoon waded through the water.
In a video posted on Facebook by herpetologist Frederick Boyce, at least five adult cottontails (each 30 to 35 inches long) were in the water when a raccoon apparently decided to join them. used to decide
It is seen coming within a few feet of two entangled cottonmouths before emerging from the mud without much scratching.
“I think I was too surprised to be surprised: ‘Oh look, and here comes a raccoon!’,” Boyce told McClatchy News.
“These animals have shared these same habitats for endless thousands of years, long before the arrival of the first humans. They each keep to themselves and mind their own business, and for the most part very well. Let’s walk.
Cottonmouths (also known as water moccasins) and raccoons are not considered serious enemies. Adult raccoons can weigh up to about 25 pounds, which is too big for a coyote to eat comfortably. And raccoons are “slow predators” that eat snakes but prefer to avoid conflict, entomologists say.
The snake fight, which lasted more than 10 minutes, was recorded in a coastal forest area featured on a Facebook snake research page called Cottonmouth Acres. According to Boyce, who works at the NC Aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores, the 25-acre site has about 100 “native” adult cottontails and their offspring.
Cottonmouth Acres has more than 11,150 Facebook followers, and the raccoon video has crossed the page with nearly 24,000 views and hundreds of reactions.
This includes commenters who praised the raccoon for “minding their own business” in an awkward moment.
“Raccoon: ‘I Seen Nothing, I Know Nothing’,” wrote Tammie Collier.
“A raccoon is nuts,” Jeff Thomas posted.
“I wish I was as brave as that raccoon!” Amy Arnold Hornsby said.
Rare alligators on the brink of extinction will be picked up at a North Carolina aquarium.
There is a commune of poisonous cottonmouths on the NC coast, and they have a Facebook page.
The giant cottonmouth in this video is the longest seen in North Carolina.