An Illinois fisherman was fishing at a private pond in Iowa last month when he captured this photo of a giant water snake eating a bullhead catfish.
Colin Wehrle of Moline, Illinois, said he thought the snake had trapped a mouse in its mouth. But as he and his friends got a closer look, they saw that the snake had caught a catfish, Rare.us reports.
Wehrle attached a GoPro camera to a pole to snap the picture, which he posted on Instagram and Reddit, where it quickly went viral.
“We were fishing and we saw a snake start coming in across the surface and I saw something thrashing in its mouth and we thought it was a mouse,” Wehrle told WQAD8. “So we trolled back to see what it was and we saw it was a catfish. So I had my GoPro on a GoPole and I pointed it toward it, got about 140 photos of the snake before it slithered out of the water with its catfish back into the bushes.”
The photo was also sent to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) via Facebook, and identified the predator as a harmless 3-foot-long northern water snake, which are reportedly common across Iowa.
“It appears to be capturing a black bullhead, which it could possibly swallow if it eats the fish head-first,” Jessie Brown of the DNR said in an email to USA Today.
According to the DNR, there are four venomous snakes in Iowa: copperhead, prairie rattlesnake, Massasauga rattlesnake and timber rattlesnakes, which are listed as threatened or endangered.
Photo Credit: CrazyLifeOfColin/Instagram, Screenshot