Video: Headless Rattlesnake Tries to Strike Alabama Man an Hour After Shooting it

   06.22.18

Billy Forbus, an Alabama resident, was attempting to get a better picture of a snake he shot, but the headless rattlesnake revolted and tried striking him without a head as if it was in some kind of horror movie or something.

According to his wife, Kerry Forbus, the Alabama man reportedly shot the snake after nearly stepping on it while doing some work in his garden.

Billy then completed his work in the garden, and used a pair of grabbers to move the now-headless snake into the bed of his pickup truck. At this point, he said the snake was motionless.

“I moved it to the truck bed so that I could take it to show my dad and brother what I had run up on in my garden,” he wrote on Facebook. “I wanted to show them because they both have gardens and I wanted to let them know to be careful.”

And while Forbus was trying to arrange the snake for a quick photo op, the snake suddenly appeared to come back to life – an hour after he shot it!

“An hour after he shot the snakes head off, it still knew where he was and would strike at him!!!!!” Kerry wrote.

Watch the video below:


WSFA 12 News contacted Tyler Harris of the Alabama Wildlife Federation hoping for an explanation of this creepy occurrence. Harris quoted Adam Cooner, a veterinarian at the Alabama Medical Center who happens to specialize in wild reptiles and amphibians.

Here’s what Cooner had to say:

In general, reptiles rely more on spinal reflex arcs than they do brain stimulation. Throughout the spinal cord, there are sites which control movement, so the spinal cord can function, to a degree, autonomously from the brain. That explains why the rattlesnake in the video is still writhing and moving despite the head being in less-than-ideal condition.

Less than ideal, indeed. . .

The strike is likely a reflexive response to continued pestering by the man with the tongs. The spinal nerves sense the direction the prodding is coming from, but despite how it appears the body doesn’t ‘know‘ it’s striking a man.

Even though this might be one of the most terrifying things you see today, remember this:

In general, snakes act defensively, not aggressively, towards humans. Keeping space between yourself and snakes is really the best deterrent.

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