Very rarely do you get to witness nature raw. But today was one of those rare days. We never even had to travel thousands of kilometers into the bush. It happened right next door. Unbelievable!
It started out like any other Friday, until Lynette out in the backyard frantically called me after seeing a big snake catch something in a tree and then fall to the ground in the next door neighbors yard. Looking over the fence we could see what turned out to be a Carpet Python wrapped around a Ringtail Possum which was wriggling and making frantic sounds as it desperately tried to escape. But it soon became apparent that there was no way the possum was going to escape the death grip of the python. As the python slowly choked the possum it looked at me with pleading eyes to get it free. But it was beyond help. Shortly afterwards it gave up the struggle and closed its eyes and succumbed to the inevitable.
What transpired next was the slow process of the python swallowing the possum whole. At first it seemed that it was going to be an impossible feat as the possum was many times bigger than the snake. But, it articulated it’s jaws and gradually, millimeter by millimeter managed to swallow the possums head. After that it was a case of the snake using its strength to crush the bones of the possum and then using it’s muscles progressively swallow and ingest the remainder of the animal. Barely an hour later it was all over bar the tail. After a short rest, that too dissapeared and the event was over and done with.
After a very brief rest the snake started to move off behind a tree. Knowing that once the snake settled it would not move for a while and assuming the neighbors would not like to come home and be told there was a 2m python in the yard we decided to catch it and relocate it in the bush next to the creek behind the complex.
Witnessing such an event is a once-in-a-lifetime event. You see this stuff on TV, but somehow seeing it unfold live in front of your eyes is a totally different experience. On one hand it’s sad to see an animal die in front of you. On the other hand it’s a privilege to watch the scene as it unfolds. And to see this all, in the middle of suburbia is quite incredible.
Fortunately the camera was ready to capture the event and share it with you.