Usually, a squirrel would be a tasty meal for a gopher snake, but the tables were turned this week when a brave rodent took its ᴘʀᴇᴅᴀᴛᴏʀ.
Footage of the pair ꜰɪɢʜᴛɪɴɢ on a patio chair in Gold Canyon, Arizona, was captured by a firefighter who had been called to break up the ʙʀᴀᴡʟ.
The two animals ꜰɪɢʜᴛᴇᴅ for about half an hour leaving a small group of spectators in awe, and they showed no sign of giving up.
“It looked like the squirrel had grabbed a piece of corn and was just chewing on it,” Ryan Philips, the firefighter who filmed the ᴄᴏɴꜰʀᴏɴᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ, said.
“Typically the ground squirrel is food for a snake so it was kind of interesting to see the tables turned a little bit,” Mr Philips told CBS5.
Many people think that the ground squirrel is brave because its nest is nearby, which is why it braved being ʙɪᴛᴛᴇɴ by the non-venemous snake.
When the snake senses ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀ to itself, it tries to curl up around a chair in the yard and hiss to ꜰʀɪɢʜᴛᴇɴ the ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋᴇʀ. However, the belligerent squirrel kept coming in to ᴄʜᴇᴡ on the snake’s body and tail.
Usually, gopher snakes ᴋɪʟʟ their ᴘʀᴇʏ by ᴄᴏɴsᴛʀɪᴄᴛɪɴɢ them. They can also break into burrows, such as the ones ground squirrels use to raise their young.
Even when the snake tried to ʀᴇsɪsᴛ the squirrel a few times, the snake still returned to ᴘʀᴏᴠᴏᴋᴇ the ᴘʀᴇᴅᴀᴛᴏʀ.
Firefighters broke up the ꜰɪɢʜᴛ and released the snake, which had a few ʙɪᴛᴇ marks, back into the desert. “I’d say this round went to the ground squirrel. But I’m sure they’ll be a ʀᴇᴍᴀᴛᴄʜ in the future,” Mr Philips said.
The Apache Junction Fire District said it receives a lot of calls about dealing with dozens of snakes each year. Gopher snakes are common in Arizona, but are often mistaken for rattle snakes.