Australia a far away country, which makes it hard to visit and get a real idea about the country and its culture. Some know it for its meat pies and the classic shrimps on the barbie ad. Talk to enough people, though, and you're sure to come across stories of the wildlife of Australia. It's not Kangaroos and Koalas that you'll hear about but rather the deadly wildlife that call Australia home. It has without question some of the most venomous and scary spiders in the world in addition to some mean snakes. In the down under that is Australia unbelievably a snake managed to kill and eat a crocodile.
Australia is home to both Saltwater crocodiles and freshwater crocodiles called 'Freshies', endearingly, by locals. The saltwater crocodiles are bigger than freshies and as their names suggest saltwater crocs live in salt water while freshies live in freshwater.
Crocodile for Lunch
The crocodile that made it onto the python's lunch menu was a freshwater crocodile. The battle took place in Lake Moondarra at the town Mount Isa in Queensland. Queensland makes up the north-eastern corner of Australia.
The victorious python was a huge and fine specimen measuring in at 10 foot. The python's usual diet consists of small rodents. These small rats are unable to fight back against the huge python making them a very safe meal.
The crocodile was definitely noticeably smaller than the python making it a very possible meal, however, the crocodile is rather adept at fighting back. It's this fact that makes this occurrence so unusual. It's a huge undertaking for the python to make the crocodile its prey.
There were a number on onlookers that witnessed the battle between these two giants of nature. Onlookers captured videos and pictures of the battle and recounted the event to reporters for local newspapers. This battle was no drive through.
The battle was said to have taken over 5 hours and an additional 45 minutes for the snake to then eat the crocodile. Snakes don't have teeth and so need to swallow their food whole. They have an unhinging jaw that lets them eat large animals whole but it's still a slow process.
A battle of Attrition
Given the drawn out nature of this battle it was more about endurance than anything else. By the time onlookers arrived on seen the crocodile was already within the python's deadly grasp. A python kills by wrapping itself around its prey and suffocating it.
Starved of Air
The snake had already wrapped itself around the fresh water crocodile when witnesses arrived. So unfortunately, we are in the dark as to how the python happened upon and engaged its giant meal. There is however, detailed recount, pictures, and even video from when people did arrive on scene.
Local woman miss Corlis gave a recount the marathon battle. In the beginning she said the crocodile was fighting for its life, trying to break free of the python's entrapment and stay above water. Already in the Snakes grasp though, there wasn't much hope for the croc.
An Impossible Battle
As the morning wore on, recounter Ms Corlis, both the python and the crocodile seemed to tire. Recognising the futility of its fate in addition to fatigue setting in for both animals the crocodile resigned itself to its final fate.
A Quick Breather
The battle was most defiantly not a walk in the park for the water python either. Once the life and struggle had left the crocodile the python uncoiled itself and took a quick rest. It then moved on to its next challenge.
A Snake expert shed so light on the situation. Saying that in fact it wasn't so uncommon for a water python the eat small crocodiles. Although their usual prey is small rodents a crocodile is easier to sneak up on.
Associate Professor Frye stated that in addition the crocodile being a much bigger threat to the python, overpowering and eating a crocodile was a much lengthier process than its usual rodent meals. Meaning it was distracted and vulnerable for longer.
The Snake spent nearly an hour slowly swallowing the crocodile whole inch by inch. This time spent eating is once again a risk for the snake as it is unable to defend itself while eating. The visuals of a snake eating something so big are truly unbelievable.
Once the crocodile was swallowed that wasn't the end of the ordeal. It remained in place for some time, presumably digesting the crocodile, ridges and shapes still visible through the snake's body. The python shouldn't need to eat again for a month, a fact locals are very glad to hear.
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