Do Wolves Eat Snakes? (or Poisonous Snakes?)

We have always looked upon wolves as large canines and vicious animals. However, did you know that like humans, wolves too are socially active? Yes, most of the time, they wander about in groups (or packs). They show great devotion and attachment towards their pack members.

Typically, wolves hunt down and relish the joy of eating other animals. But is it the same when it comes to snakes? Wolves do consume snakes. However, snakes aren’t the primary source of food for them. They do not munch on them very frequently. Read on!


Can Wolves Eat Snakes?

It will come to nobody’s surprise that wolves go straight for the meat. They aren’t usually picky eaters, especially during the cold months when there is rarely any food. So, a wolf will not blink twice and will hunt and consume snakes.

However, since they hunt in packs, they need larger prey to predate for survival. Varying from species to species, research says that a typical wolf pack has as many as six wolves. Thus, their main food source is not snakes but big animals such as bison, deer, and moose. 

Needless to say, these above-mentioned animals have sufficient meat content in them. Hence, they offer an excellent choice for hunting. 

Now, killing a snake also depends on how opportunities present themselves. Wolves will never attack a snake unless an opportunity comes knocking at the front door. They will never turn down the chance but will enjoy it to the fullest.

Do Wolves Eat Dead or Poisonous Snakes?

Often, there is a misconception that animals that eat poisonous snakes end up dead themselves. However, we are here to clear the air and give out accurate information.

Yes, it is true that wolves eat such snakes. But, this predator will be poisoned to death only and only if the snake’s venom is passed on into its blood circulation.

Thus, to make it simpler, take an instance. If a wolf is to devour down a poisonous snake, it will be processed in the digestive system of the animal just like any other prey of its!

The scenario can take an abnormal twist if the wolf has an exposed wound inside of its system. In situations like these, there is a high possibility that the poison can spread its way to the bloodstream via the open sore. This can further lead to deadly problems.

Yet, another point to note is that wolves eat lifeless snakes as well. People have long recognized them for their blood-shedding activities.

But did you know that these animals do not seem to have a problem munching on the flesh, no matter how rotten it has grown? They will only see it as a means to please their hunger cravings.

Thus, wolves will not hesitate to eat snakes, even if they are lifeless or alive. 

Do Wolves Eat Garter Snakes?

Before proceeding with this section, what are Garter snakes? They are one such type that is the most hunted, easily found, and not poisonous. Thus, this makes them utterly defenseless in nature.

In order to prevent themselves from being hunted by other animals, garter snakes will slither along tall grass stretches. Also, they will release an unpleasant musk odor when they feel physically assaulted.

Meat is found to be in as much as 90 percent of a wolf’s daily food intake. That will include eating a variety of small and big mammals, reptiles as well as garter snakes.

Usually, wolves prey on snakes by following the method of capturing them into their rein. Even though garter snakes are harmless to human beings, their saliva contains some level of toxicity that may sometimes make the wolf appear green around the gills.

Do Wolves Fight Snakes?

There is no need for wolves to fight snakes as they have the power to easily knock them off. On the contrary, a snake will give its best to save its life from the clutches of the wolf.

How Do Wolves Hunt Snakes?

Not many people would be familiar with the fact that wolves are gifted with extraordinary smelling intelligence.

As a matter of truth, when the smelling senses of human sand wolves are compared to each other, research says that wolves win by a margin of 100 times. They are looked upon as brilliant receptors when it comes to smell.

Indeed, the smell helps in bringing food to their notice and is a very important trait. Once the wolf manages to spot the snake, it becomes its reflex action to catch hold of the snake by its head. The wolf will keep its front paws to tightly grab the fighting body of the latter.

Another fascinating characteristic of wolves is that they have deadly and sharp teeth. The pressure coming from the jaw is very strong. It has the capacity to crush and slash down bones within the first three bites.

Thus, not only snakes but any small animal that sees itself in between a wolf’s piercingly dangerous canine fangs are gone for good.

Can a Snake Eat a Wolf?

Snakes do not consume wolves. The types of snakes that have the capability to eat wolves are adapted to summer-like climates. On the other hand, wolves are more likely to be found in colder regions. 

As a result, there is a fat chance or absolutely no chance at all of the wolves coming across a pit of snakes.

On the other hand, there is another group of snakes that reside in cooler areas. However, they are not seen as a danger to any of the wolves out there as they’re too small, and can’t consume a whole wolf. Instead, they end up being eaten by wolves.

Are Snakes Afraid of Wolves?

In all times of life, snakes would always prefer to stay as far away from wolves as possible. Wolves have an intimidating stance and posture that may scare the snakes. So, snakes try to prevent themselves from being surrounded by them.

Answering the question, are snakes afraid of wolves – definitely yes. However, it is a basic tendency of every animal to struggle for its life, regardless of its fate.

What Other Animal Kills Snakes to Eat?

Fear is bound to set in when people come across a pool of snakes before their eyes! 

Still, snakes do not make it to the top of the food cycle hierarchy while there are a number of other different animal kinds that possess the ability to grab and end their life the very next minute.

As part of natural causes, small as well as big non-venomous snakes are always at risk of losing their lives to other animals that stand above them in the food pyramid.

1. Birds of Prey

Owing to their exceptionally amazing eyesight, some birds can spot snakes while hovering in the air. They can take the snakes by the grip and kill them instantly. Over the years, there have been various eagle species that kill off this reptile. From this catch comes the name of the snake eagle.

There is yet another species of bird known as the Secretary Bird. It is found in the African continent and can take down snakes as well.

This bird species do not like to fly much. They only seem to attack first when they feel that their privacy is being violated when snakes make slithering sounds.

2. Domesticated Animals

Domesticated animals come under the category of those animals that kill snakes to eat. They can find snakes in the backyard or front garden and prey on them just as naturally as a cat hunts down mice for food.

However, a lot of restrictions follow when it comes to hunting of snakes by these pet animals. It is not an easy job and certainly not safe for the tame animal out there.

3. Hedgehog

Yes, you read it right. We are talking about the same spiked, sluggish, and extremely cute hedgehogs. It is very natural for a snake to bite this small animal. However, thinking about its prickly body surface, the snake will definitely face a rather tough time.

They will keep on trying to cut themselves through the hedgehog’s body until it becomes weak to do anything further. It is then that the hedgehog will demand an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Piercing through its vertebra, the prickly pig will kill it to its satisfaction.

Final Thoughts

Finally, we can say this without having any doubts that wolves eat snakes but not as often as they enjoy eating other animals. Remember that wolves are opportunistic and that they will pounce whenever they get a chance to eat snakes.

We also learned that snakes being small creatures, alone are not enough to give pleasure to the entire pack of wolves, be they dead or poisonous – it does not matter to them. A single wolf can devour more than 10 kilograms of meat every day.

Blessed with a brilliant smelling sense, garter snakes are also a part of a wolf’s diet. Obviously, a snake will never try to take on a wolf. Instead, they are very afraid of these blood-thirsty carnivores.

Keeping that in mind, only wolves but a wide range of other animals as well consider snakes as a good snack. Some of the animals are mentioned above in this article.

Disclaimer: This blog should not be considered as being professional pet medical advice. The content published on this blog is for informational purposes only. Please always consult with a licensed and local veterinarian for medical advice.

About Shaun Clarke

Shaun is passionate about pets and animals, especially dogs, cats, and rabbits. He owns a dog and a couple of cats too. He loves visiting wildlife sanctuaries and shares a strong bond with animals. When he is not writing, he loves to do a barbecue in the backyard with his family and friends.