Python devours wallaby in giant meal: Australian ranger

A python begins to swallow a wallaby at Nitmiluk National Park in Australia's Northern Territory on December 29, 2014
A python begins to swallow a wallaby at Nitmiluk National Park in Australia's Northern Territory on December 29, 2014

An Australian ranger has captured the moment a python swallowed a wallaby at a national park in a giant feast that could keep it full for three months.

Ranger Paul O'Neill was patrolling Nitmiluk National Park in the Northern Territory when he heard numerous birds making alarm calls and came across the feeding frenzy.

"I saw at first a snake, an olive , but then on closer inspection I realised it had just... killed a young joey and was just about to start to devour it," O'Neill told AFP of his discovery Monday.

He said the medium-build python, a constrictor, was between 2.5 to three metres (8.2 to 9.8 feet) long.

"That would be the largest-size prey that a snake of that size could take," O'Neill, who documented the digesting process in a series of photographs, said.

"And whilst I watched it devouring it, which took about 40 minutes, it really did struggle until it got over the hump of the belly and then it slid down, so that feed is going to last that for a good two to three months.

"That lump will take roughly 24 hours, maybe a bit more, to disappear so it breaks that food down quite quickly, but then it will just be virtually hibernating for a month," he said.

The python would have most likely caught its prey by lunging at and then coiling around the while it was eating fruits that had fallen from a plum tree, before squeezing it to death, he added.

The olive python is one of Australia's largest snakes and can grow to 4.5 metres and weigh up to 20 kilograms (44 pounds). It is a non-venomous, mostly nocturnal reptile found in arid to sub-humid areas of northern Australia.

A python swallows a wallaby at Nitmiluk National Park in Australia's Northern Territory on December 29, 2014
A python swallows a wallaby at Nitmiluk National Park in Australia's Northern Territory on December 29, 2014

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Dec 30, 2014
Now I am wondering if our myths of giant snakes is indeed more fact than fiction. They can surprise a single person, disappear while digesting, then arise when their prey is non suspecting.

Dec 31, 2014
Dragons are born in hell.
Dragons hate people. You have to kill them.
If an animal attacks you, pray to Grigorij "Novyj" Rasputin.
We need to k-i-l-l the dinosaurs before they eat us.
Meet me at Volga River soon.
First dinosaur will come out of Volga River in Russia.
According to Russian Orthodox Christian Vyatcheslav Krasheninnikov:
Humans were created about 7525 years ago.
Birds participate in time creation.
It's a sin to kill birds.
Dinosaurs live under our level.
They will get out through sinkholes and lakes.
To kill them, go for their nerves.
So, save the birds, but kill the dinosaurs.
Why do sinkholes happen?
Because people dig for resources
creating an imbalance underground.
Opinion; do you disagree?
Oh, and feed the pigeons, please.
If you have time, ask Orthodox Christian priest
to bless your house. Forgive me.

Jan 03, 2015
At least they're both 'native' species-- Imagine the fuss otherwise !!

Jan 03, 2015
Now I am wondering if our myths of giant snakes is indeed more fact than fiction. They can surprise a single person, disappear while digesting, then arise when their prey is non suspecting.


Well little-Ira-Skippy and me saw the 27 foot long anaconda at the wildlife zoo in Florida about four or three years ago. Mrs-Ira-Skippette did not believe us non, until we get the pictures printed out with the zoo man in a pirogue beside the thing.

So giant snakes are not much the myths, well not if you consider 27 feet of snake a giant snake I mean.

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