Snake making friends with a rat

By Ron Lee - bio l email

Posted by Jeff Rivenbark - email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - In every relationship, you can expect a little tension.  Couples getting on each other's nerves until one of them, oh, let's just say, eats the other one.

Meet Sampson.  He is a six foot, red-tailed boa that Jon Haldane got a few years ago.

"He will grow to about seven feet and probably a circumference of about eight to twelve inches depending on how much he eats," said Haldane.

How much Sampson eats is part of the problem.  Not for Sampson, but for his new roommate.

Sampson usually gets a meal every couple of weeks, something of the fuzzy rodent variety.

Haldane soon realized the rat he put in with the snake three months ago, is still there.

"I think they have become friends," he said. "They sleep together, in his coils.  I often see a little white head popping up from the middle of the coils."

Amazingly, it appears the two have some sort of animal magnetism toward each other.  The rat walks all over the snake and often past the business end of it, seemingly with no worries.

"I'm sure if they had TV and a cigar, they'd both be smoking them together," Haldane said.

If you're thinking this will be the makings of the next Walt Disney movie, this all might be less of a friendship, and more rodent ingenuity.

Haldane says snakes don't like to eat when it's cold.  So, he put a heating blanket down for Sampson, which the rat promptly destroyed.

"He actually chewed through the blanket [and] shorted it out."

The family has become so attached to the rat, they named him "Lucky" and moved him into his own home with a pretty decent view to boot.

As for Sampson, he may be waiting around for something a bit bigger like the family's poodle.