A Black Whip Snake died sometime this weekend after trying to devour a common hedgehog in Shoham, central Israel. The hedgehog did not survive either. The snake and the hedgehog were discovered by local residents who were walking their dogs.
Aviad Bar, reptile ecologist at the Nature and Parks Authority, explained: “An analysis of the situation that involved a dead hedgehog in the mouth of an exhausted snake, suggests the snake tried to devour the hedgehog and as soon as he decided to abandon this unusual meal, he realized the magnitude of his mistake. The unidirectional orientation of the hedgehog’s spines did not allow the snake to eject the hedgehog and at the end of the match both the hedgehog and the snake met their deaths in this tragic encounter.”
This man should write heroic poetry!
Israel is home to three species of hedgehogs which together inhabit the entire country. Their big-variety menu includes insects, small mammals, birds, and reptiles, including, yes, snakes.
The Black Whip Snake is the longest Israeli snake. It is not poisonous, and its great appetite makes it very useful in controlling rodents, and even poisonous snakes. Like all Israeli snakes, the Black Whip Snake is a protected animal, as are the hedgehogs.
About 41 species of snakes live in Israel, most of which are not dangerous to humans. Only 9 species of snakes in Israel are poisonous. Snakes are very important in maintaining the functioning of the ecosystem in which they live and are very helpful in limiting the proliferation of rodents and other pests.