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Snake fights back against attacking osprey

WILDLIFE -- I have not been able to track down the source of these November photos that are making rounds on the Internet, but they tell an intriguing tale in the world of predators and prey.

Apparently a paddler pulled from the water an osprey that had tried to make a meal of a snake.  But the snake was able to wrap itself around the osprey's neck and lock into a choke hold.

The rescuer reportedly is shown untying the snake from the half-drown bird and letting it loose, while the osprey stood, drying in the sun and trying to recover.  That's all I know.

See for yourself. Click "continue reading" for the unattributed text in the email describing the rest of the fascinating photos.

This has to be the weirdest thing that ever floated by me on the Snake River.  They were stuck together in death lock, each wanting to kill the other first. 

My guess is that the falcon snatched up the tasty snake, and it somehow got its tail around the falcon's neck, strangling it in midair causing both of them to crash into the river.  They are both alive and well, considering.  I think a few more minutes and the snake would have won. 

The tail was actually tied in a  knot around the neck, and getting tighter by the second.  I got the snake untied, and well, as you can see, they both made it.  This is another one of those stories you tell, and are always acknowledged with "yeah, right!"  Well, here's the proof. 

Neither of them bit me or scratched me; the snake didn't want to stop biting the falcon's leg, and only let go after I had untied everything else.  I got the water out of the falcon's lungs with birdie inversion technique, and stayed with him until he was almost dried off in the sun, and flying a little.  Ball of snake and falcon, that is the weirdest thing I have pulled out of the water so far, it beats the wagon wheel!

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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