Do Raccoons Eat Rattlesnakes? How Raccoons Kill And Eat Them

Humans may have a fear of snakes but animals simply see them as food. Animals don’t make the distinction between different foods, they only know that food is food.

There are a variety of animals that catch, kill and eat rattlesnakes. So, do raccoons do this as well? Do raccoons eat rattlesnakes? This article explores this topic. 

Raccoons do eat rattlesnakes, these animals eat a variety of snakes, rattlesnakes included. Raccoons will crush the snake’s head to subdue it, this protects the raccoon from being bitten by the snake and being exposed to its venom

Do raccoons eat rattlesnakes?

Encounters between humans and wildlife have become more common, rapid urbanization is the reason behind this. Raccoons and snakes have been forced to live among humans, thankfully raccoons eat rattlesnakes 

Many people fear rattlesnakes, these snakes are powerful predators that hunt a variety of animals.

But just as with any other predator, there are always bigger, stronger or smarter animals that can overpower and eat rattlesnakes, raccoons are animals that eat rattlesnakes 

Raccoons can eat a variety of things, they are opportunistic feeders, they are scavengers and they are omnivores. They are able to eat both plant and animal matter.

These animals are helpful to humans as they eat pests such as mice, rats, harmful insects, and even rattlesnakes 

How raccoons kill and eat rattlesnakes

Raccoons don’t kill rattlesnakes with their bare hands, these animals will use large hard objects like rocks to kill the snake.

A raccoon subduing a rattlesnake involves the raccoon crushing the snakes head using a rock or another hard object. Doing this, rather than fighting the snake with its bare hands, keeps it safe from the snake biting the animal and venom being injected into the raccoon. 

That being said, although raccoons can eat snakes, this doesn’t mean that they always do. Hunting and killing a snake requires quite a bit of effort from raccoons. Raccoons would rather eat plants and animals that offer less resistance when being eaten. 

What are predators of rattlesnakes? 

Not only do raccoons have the ability to hunt and catch snakes, but there are also a variety of other animals that are well trained in snake extermination, these include:

  • Honey badgers 
  • Mongoose 
  • Eagles 
  • Pigs 
  • Kingsnakes 
  • Dogs 
  • Cats 

The mongoose is a primary snake predator, this animal is immune to snake venom and eats snakes as its main food source. These animals have thick coats which protect them from being bitten by snakes.

Honey badgers are also great snake hunters, they are also immune to snake venom  

Note: Although your domesticated pets may be able to hunt snakes this doesn’t mean that there are no risks involved. If your pets are exposed to snakes there is still a chance that they can become bitten or injured by the snake.

If you have a snake problem, rather call pest professionals to deal with them rather than relying on your cats or dogs to patrol your property 

What are predators of raccoons? 

Raccoons are not only predators to rattlesnakes, and to a variety of other animals, they are also prey to a variety of animals. Animals that eat raccoons include:

  • Bears 
  • Foxes 
  • Crocodiles
  • Snakes
  • Coyotes 
  • Ocelots 
  • Wolves 
  • Eagles 
  • Lynx 

Raccoons are easy prey to these animals because the raccoon’s natural defences are not that robust, also, they are not fast enough to run away or strong enough to fight these animals off.

Raccoons live in a variety of locations, this is a blessing and a curse because this makes them targets to a variety of animals. Raccoons will be preyed on by almost any meat-eating animal that is larger than them.

Can dogs keep snakes away? 

Dogs are much larger than snakes, because of this, snakes will likely keep away from dogs. Snakes generally keep away from animals that are big and loud.

Snakes are afraid of dogs, they are afraid of you too, keep this in mind when you see a snake

Snakes are unlikely to attack your dog, the animal will usually simply keep to itself. If you find yourself in snake territory or come across a snake, keep your dog close and calmly walk away from the snake 


In conclusion, yes raccoons do eat rattlesnakes, if they have to, however, they’d rather eat prey that requires less energy to catch and eat.

Other animals that eat rattlesnakes include: honey badgers, mongoose, eagles, pigs, kingsnakes, dogs and cats.

If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other raccoon related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Do raccoons eat roaches?, Do raccoons eat raccoons?, Do raccoons eat meat?, Do raccoons eat eggs?, Do raccoons eat roses?

Do Raccoons Eat Rattlesnakes? How Raccoons Kill And Eat Them
Scroll to top