Bizarre footage has emerged of a snake devouring its own tail after mistaking it for lunch.
The video, which was posted on YouTube, shows the female Albino Western Hognose biting down on her lower body.
The clip shows the snake writhing around in a bowl as it battles to eat its own body.
It is unclear if the tail reached the snake’s stomach and digestion had stared – the fate of the snake is also unknown.
Snakes are not considered cannibalistic animals and a snake eating itself is rare.
Some experts believe that if a snake does eat itself it could be confused due to illness and therefore be unaware of what it is doing.
One user who watched the video wrote: ‘Why didn’t anyone stop it? Poor snake.’
Another user wrote: ‘Why didn’t you get someone at the pet shop to help the snake instead of standing there like a cruel idiot recording an animal hurting himself?’
Another user wrote: ‘One reason snakes do this is because they are agitated from getting too hot. Judging by the fact the snake is in the water bowl I would suspect this is the reason.
Snakes are cold blooded so their metabolic rate is controlled by how they regulate their body temperature, a hot snake has an increased metabolism and would likely feel hungry if it hasn’t eaten recently, which could drive this behaviour.
‘Turning off the heat-lamp and spraying them with cool water will cause them to spit themselves out.’
In 2009 vets were forced to intervene with Reggie the King snake chomped down on his back end but then couldn’t release himself after his teeth had taken hold.
The vet had had to gently untangle Reggie by prising its jaws open a little wider and sliding the teeth off the flesh using a probe. The whole operation took half an hour.