A North Carolina couple’s after-dinner stroll ended on a rather grim note this week, when they stepped outside of the restaurant just in time to see a snake stretching its jaws to cram a catfish down its throat.
John Carney Edwards of Chocowinity says he and his wife had just feasted on crab dip and coconut shrimp when they exited Backwater Jack’s Tiki Bar at 5 p.m. Tuesday to see the snake struggling with its meal.
The spot was identified by TV station WITN as the Havens Gardens boat landing in Washington, a Beaufort County town on the Pamlico River.
“It’s definitely not something you see everyday. ... I didn’t stick around to see him finish,” Edwards told the Charlotte Observer.
He recorded the grisly moment and posted it on Facebook, showing the snake’s jaws gaping and the fish hanging limp. The snake seemed to be intent on swallowing the fish before going back on the water, Edwards said.
Edwards’ video has been viewed more than 55,000 times in the past day and gotten national TV coverage.
“l hope he didn’t spit it out or he would be screwed, because it was a catfish he was eating,” Edwards said, noting catfish have barbs that easily perforate soft flesh.
The North Carolina Zoo identified the snake as a nonvenomous brown water snake, which resembles a venomous cottonmouth.
“The brown water snake feeds primarily on catfish and is sometimes found with the spines of catfish sticking out its body walls,” reports Herpsofnc.org. “Surprisingly, the spines eventually fall out and the snakes seem to recover from these ‘painful’ meals.”