Headless skinned rattlesnake on grill tries to bite cook
Dead reptiles need to be handled with care because even after death they can bite and harm you. A headless skinned rattlesnake cooking on a grill unfoiled and tried to bite the cook.
I used to fish for eel at night in a river. Dead and frozen eel would routinely start wiggling around as soon as they warmed up on a grill or cooking pot.
Eel on the BBB grill
Hunters beware, rattlers are not only dangerous in the wilderness while alive but they can still inject you with venom after death. The head of a headless skinned rattlesnake will try to bite you if not buried deep enough or, worse yet, left just lying around in the open.
Headless skinned rattler (Fox News, https://video.foxnews.com/v/6005811511001/#sp=show-clips)
Several days ago, Michael Bartiromo of Fox News reported about the most unusual case involving dead rattlers that ever crossed my desk.
Hunters in Texas found and killed a rattlesnake. They cut off its head, skinned and field dressed it and, since they were just grilling some of the game they had taken earlier, decided to add the rattlesnake to the mix.
The cook put the headless skinned rattlesnake on the grill. Much to the consternation of the cook and the other hunters, the rattler started to move away from the heat. It also looked like it was attempting to strike at the cook. Afraid the snake would just pop out when the lid is opened, the cook did not cover the grill. Instead, one of the hunters used thongs to hold it on the fire to cook.
“Eventually, it is going to die”, one hunter states. He was right. The dead snake was finally terminally dead. The hunters consumed it without further incident.
That corresponds to my experience with eels. They would finally stop wiggling around and could be cooked and eaten.
Other reptiles are also known for retaining their biting capability after death. Though the head is no longer controlling the body, it retains its basic capabilities to move by reflex long after death. The nervous system of reptiles is primitive enough to function to a degree without direction and control from the brain.
Even humans are said to remain conscious for a few seconds after decapitation as science now tells us. There are reports of decapitated prisoners during the French revolution expressed facial disgust for the words of the executioner holding up the head for display.
Altogether, this illustrates that hunters always need to account for the chance that a dead animal can still attack and harm them when approached too soon or carelessly. Not only when reptiles are involved but with mammals only. More than one “dead” wild boar has sprung back to life when the hunter who shot him approached.