Bobcat battles dead snake

Claudine Zap

You’re innocently going about your business when suddenly you witness a fight to the death, sort of.

Video captured by M.D./Ph.d. student Christopher Gibson on Salt Lake City's University of Utah campus around 6 p.m. Monday shows a bobcat battling a rattlesnake — except, as the video user points out, the fight appears to be one-sided because the snake is already dead.

Gibson told Yahoo News in an email that he was driving out of the parking lot of a building after a meeting and noticed the bobcat standing on the side of the road looking intently at something. "I stopped, got out and tried to observe without frightening or disturbing the cat," he said.

“I saw the bobcat, and then when I got out of the car to take some pictures, I noticed it was quite interested in a snake! The snake was headless by the time I saw it, but this bobcat didn't seem to notice and wasn't taking chances,” Gibson wrote on the YouTube description.

The video has gotten some attention on the Web. "I think it's great that people like the video," Gibson told Yahoo News. "Nature can be amazing to watch. One of the things I love about the University of Utah is that we have world-class research, and we are simultaneously steps away from amazing wilderness and recreation."

Bobcats look like overgrown house cats. They are nocturnal, according to National Geographic, so they are rarely spotted by humans. The website notes the cat has a tail that looks “bobbed,” explaining the name, and is a fierce hunter that can deliver a “death blow with a leaping pounce that can cover 10 feet.”

In this case, it is unclear if the bobcat came across the dead snake or had killed it and was making sure it was really, definitely dead.