Rattlesnakes are no match for a scorned hen turkey.
The wild turkey have a notorious reputation for being one of the dumbest birds in North America. They have exceptional eyesight, but they are not known for being the brightest bulb when compared to other birds. Of course, this may lead to a wrongful assumption that these animals are extremely vulnerable to predators and other dangerous creatures.
This is not the case at all. When they need to be, wild turkeys know how to fight back and do it with a stunning ferocity that seems to go against their otherwise seemingly docile nature. Especially if they are forced to defend their young.
We are assuming that is what was happening in this fascinating video out of Northern California. Some people were just passing by when they saw this turkey attacking a snake. It is not just any snake either, it is a highly venomous rattlesnake. Amazingly, the hen keeps pecking away at the serpent until it is dead.
We may never look at turkeys the same way again. This hen was absolutely determined to make sure the deadly serpent was dead before she moved on. Of course, the snake cannot possibly eat a full-grown turkey, but her chicks might make a perfect snake for the slithering serpent. We do not see any in this video, but we think it is a safe bet they are hiding somewhere nearby.
If she does not have any young, perhaps she is just acting on pure instinct. Many animals are seemingly conditioned to associate snakes with danger. It is one of the reasons many believe house cats will jump at the sight of a cucumber on the floor. It is in their instincts to be wary of a potentially venomous creature.
This was not a pleasant death for the snake. However, this is how nature operates. Kill or be killed is the way things operate in forests all over the world. In this case, the snake ended up on the wrong end, but the turkey's young were likely given a better chance of survival as a result. One thing is for sure, our respect for turkeys just went up a whole lot after seeing what they can do to snakes!
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