Rat Snake (Ptyas mucosa) Preying on a Piglet (Sus scrofa domesticus)

 Rat Snake (Ptyas mucosa) Preying on a Piglet (Sus scrofa domesticus)

Snake attacking a piglet, panchvati

In our residential compound at Panchwati, Udaipur, in Rajasthan, there were seven resident snakes. Four of them were caught and identified as rat snakes (Ptyas mucosa). We marked them for identification and released them again. One of the rat snakes measured 10 feet 7 inches.

On 11 September 2014 at about 0900 hours the excess water of Lake Pichola was released. The nullah which carries this excess water flows adjoining the boundary of our garden. Several city pigs (Sus scrofa dosmeticus) feeding inside the nullah were washed away with the released water and swam with the current, trying in vain to get out. Two small piglets came along with the water near our boundary, their snouts out of the water. The largest snake we had measured came swimming against the current and caught hold of one of the piglets’ head. It carried away the piglet and entered the large drain from our lane which opens in the nullah with its prey and disappeared from our sight.

I think this is the first recorded instance of a rat snake preying on a piglet.

Published in Tigerpaper: Tehsin, R. H. (2014): Rat Snake (Piyus mucosa) preying on a piglet (Sus scrofa domesticus).     Tigerpaper. Vol. 41 (No. 4) pp 32

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