Why is this garter snake swimming around wearing a decapitated head of a trout? It certainly doesn't look like fun.
A snake expert tells Inverse how the garter might have gotten into its grotesque predicament.
Exactly how the snake got into this situation is unclear, but snake experts have a few ideas. While it might appear that the snake could be trying to finish the last bite of a fishy meal, herpetologist Emily Taylor, Ph.D., the director of the Physiological Ecology of Reptiles Lab at California Polytechnic State University, tells Inverse that this is impossible.
“I can tell you that the snake definitely did not eat the rest of the fish. First, that fish it too big for the snake,” she said in an e-mail. “Second, snakes don’t take bites — they eat their meals whole.”
"Someone caught the fish and cleaned it, and threw the head back in the creek,” he said in an e-mail to Inverse. “The snake investigated the cut-off head, and may have found some loose bit of tissue (such as a gill) that it tried to eat but can’t separate from the rest of the head.”
She adds that perhaps the snake got stuck inside the head, but says that gruesome scenario is unlikely.