What’s Scarier Than a Rattlesnake in Idaho? THIS.
Each year, data compiled by the Center for Disease Control & Prevention shows between 7,000 to 8,000 people are attacked by venomous snakes. In a country that has over 300 million citizens, that means less than 0.0025% of Americans will experience a life-threatening brush with a lethal serpent.
Living in Idaho, a state that's home to the deadly Western and Prairie Rattlesnakes, data like that puts my mind at ease. Then yesterday I learned the threat posed by Idaho's rattlesnakes paled in comparison to that of its birds of prey; the Turkey Vulture to be specific.
If you're unfamiliar, the ravenous winged predator is found in a range of habitats across the state: open/semi-open areas next to woodlands; in grasslands and shrublands; deserts and wetlands; and hovering high above one of my best friends' homes.
A few days ago, my friend Katrina stepped out of her house northeast of Lucky Peak when she spotted a rattlesnake in brush nearby. Within moments, she hollered for a neighbor to help her trap and kill the deadly snake.
After she was sure it was dead, she did what most of us would do: she whipped out her phone and took pics to send to her husband. When the post-mortem photoshoot ended, she ran in the house to get what was needed to dispose of the carcass.
She'd been gone all of 15, maybe 20 minutes, when she returned and found what little remained of the rattlesnake. Apparently, a Turkey Vulture had had its way with the dead serpent during the short time Katrina was gone.
Scroll on to see for yourself what this bird of prey did to the rattlesnake.