An Australian ranger at Nitmiluk National Park witnessed one of the most cringe-worthy, yet amazing, events of nature, when massive Olive Python swallowed an entire wallaby.
Paul O-Neill, who works at the park near Katherine in the Northern Territory of Australia, was on patrol near the Visitors Centre when he found the python feeding on an Agile Wallaby Joey. A Facebook post from the Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife explained that it was the frightful noise made by some birds nearby that first attracted O-Neill to the site, where he was invited by the amazing sight of a Olive Python (Liasis olivaceus) feeding on one of the resident Agile Wallaby joeys (Macropus agilis).
The python is highly likely to have caught the wallaby offguard while it was eating fruits that fell from a plum tree, by lunging at it and then coiling around its prey, before squeezing it to death.
The ranger was able to capture this spectacular event, and the photos he took have been posted on the Facebook page of Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife.
The post also quotes Territory Wildlife Park's Greg Smith, who claims that the wallaby is the biggest prey the python could eat: "That wallaby would take about 5 to 7 days to digest completely and the snake would go and hide for at least a month. The snake is of medium build and would probably start to hunt for more tucker within 4 to 8 weeks depending on the snake."
Smith says that each snake has a different appetite and that while some snakes will start looking for food even when they are overweight and have just eaten, for most snakes the meal devoured by the python would be sufficient for at least three months.
The Olive python, one of Australia's largest snakes, can grow up to 4.5m and weigh up to 20 kilograms (44 pounds), but is a non-venomous, mostly nocturnal reptile. More photos of "Olive Python VS Agile Wallaby" will be released around 5:30 am (IST) on 31 December.