Warning: Graphic video is included in this article of a snake trying to swallow itself.
A king snake at Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary started its morning by eating a little snack — its own tail.
While getting ready to leave for an event at the Chester Springs Library, Jesse Rothacker, founder of Forgotten Friends Reptile Sanctuary, found one of the rescued king snakes swallowing its own tail.
Rothacker said that during Forgotten Friends' 15 years of operation, this is the first time a king snake has ever swallowed itself.
"We routinely observe our resident kingsnakes BITING themselves, if only for a second," said Rothacker in an email to LNP.
According to Rothacker, king snakes are well-known for eating other snakes. King snakes are even immune to rattlesnake and copperhead venom, he said.
But it's not common to find a king snake swallowing its own tail, Rothacker said.
Rothacker said that he's seen this particular king snake gnawing on himself before, but never to this extent.
However, the snake does have scarring on its tail, which makes Rothacker think that this isn't the first time its ever attempted to swallow itself.
"I swear, guys, we've been feeding him," he said on a Facebook Live video posted to Forgotten Friends Reptile Sanctuary's page this morning. "He is actually a very good eater. I think he's just very hungry."
Rothacker also joked and said "Maybe this snake didn't do well on the SAT."
During the Facebook Live, Rothacker managed to get the snake to regurgitate almost half its own body — though it was definitely a struggle.
"I promise we will feed you later!" Rothacker told the stubborn snake as he attempted to pry its jaw open.
Despite the snake almost eating itself alive, Rothacker said its fine and was only left with "pin pricks." The snake received a bath to clean off any "digestive juices," he said.
The snake was recently adopted and will soon be leaving Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary and heading home with its new owner on Sunday, Rothacker said.
Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary is a nonprofit reptile rescue and education group focused on educational outreach in the community and prevention of cruelty to animals.
The nonprofit is located in Elm, which is north of Lititz, and does not disclose their address due to the nonprofit's work with law enforcement.