In this guide, we’ll answer the question:
“What eats snakes?”
First, you’ll find a short summary of what animals eat snakes in the wild and then get a detailed list of snake predators.
Snakes are carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes with a higher classification of Ophidia. And like all other squamates, snakes are ectothermic, amniote vertebrates covered in overlapping scales that are hunted and eaten by several different classes in the animal kingdom.
The average lifespan for a snake is 9 years.
What Eats Snakes?
Animals that eat snakes include birds, bobcats, coyotes, crocodiles, foxes, hedgehogs, honey badgers, leopards, raccoons, mongooses, snapping turtles, weasels, wild boars, wolverines, and other snakes. A snake has many natural predators and falls prey to a variety of species.
Many types of birds eat snakes, including owls, red-tailed hawks, eagles, falcons, and herons. A snake is grabbed from above by a bird’s talons and flown to a tree or other place for the bird (also known as a raptor) to consume the snake.
Although rare, bobcats are known to attack and eat snakes when the opportunity for a meal presents itself.
In the desert, bobcats will eat rattlesnakes but they are not immune to rattlesnake venom.
A coyote will typically eat snakes when the opportunity presents itself naturally in the wild. Coyotes may attack a snake to protect its den or if it needs food for itself or for its pups.
Crocodiles are also animals that eat snakes. A crocodile will eat whatever is the easiest prey, based on size and availability, which includes snakes it finds in or near the water.
Foxes will eat snakes on occasion because foxes do not depend on other animals for their survival. Foxes are omnivores that get food from both plant and animal sources.
Hedgehogs are another common snake predator that has no problem hunting, attacking devouring snakes.
These animals have proteins in their blood that provide natural immunity against snake venom. This special characteristic gives the hedgehog the rare ability to consume poisonous animals of the food chain like snakes without ill effects.
Honey badgers are one of the top snake predators. Up to 25% of the honey badger’s omnivorous diet consists of venomous snakes. A snake is an excellent source of meat for a honey badger, so it will hunt, find, and attack a snake for nourishment.
Leopards are carnivores and eat any meat item they can find and snakes can provide this animal with a good meat source.
A mongoose eats a snake regardless of if it is venomous or not. In fact, mongooses are known for their ability to fight and kill venomous snakes, especially cobras, which are large, venomous snakes with a trademark hood.
Mongooses are predators with unique acetylcholine receptors that make this animal resistant to snake toxins.
A raccoon will devour a snake if it is easy to catch. Raccoons are opportunists and natural predators, so they don’t dedicate a lot of time to tracking and killing prey.
A snapping turtle is a natural predator for snakes and can easily hunt down and eat a snake inside the water and on land.
A weasel hunts anything it finds which includes eating snakes.
Wild boars are opportunistic eaters, so they will eat snakes when given a chance. However, wild boars are not natural predators of snakes, and therefore, do not hunt for them.
Wolverines are ruthless and nondiscriminatory predators that will attack any animal it comes across in the wild. So snakes are definitely part of their food chain. The wolverine is known to take down a cobra.
Snakes eat other snakes but typically only a smaller snake species. Snakes don’t actively hunt down their own kind and only do so opportunistically.
A snake will eat another snake when it is readily available prey in their location or a particular season.
What Do Snakes Eat?
Snakes are also predators that must prey on other animals to survive.
You can visit our other guide on what do snakes eat to find out more about what these reptiles feed on for nutrition.
Animals That Eat Snakes Summary
You now know what eats snakes in the wild and which species are the top snake predators.
As you discovered in this guide, there are about 15 animals that eat snakes in nature (both venomous and non-venomous).
I’m the lead editor and writer for Animal Answer Guide. I enjoy sharing expert knowledge on the various characteristics of common species within the five distinct groups of animals: amphibians, birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles.