Pythons are considered really ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴏᴜs creatures. Their appearance alone can already sᴄᴀʀᴇ anyone plus their gigantic shape, which they often use to ᴇᴀᴛ anything that they consider their ᴘʀᴇʏ.
However, this particular python had the worst day of its life after it decided to ᴇᴀᴛ a porcupine.
A cyclist riding along one of the mountain bike trails at the Lake Eland Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, spotted a very engorged snake. The cyclist snapped a few photos of the gluttonous python and posted them to social media, where they quickly attracted the attention of locals who wanted to see the python themselves.
“We’ve been keeping an eye on the snake since we got word from the rider; it’s moved about a metre from where the rider found it,” Shona Lawson of the Lake Eland Game Reserve told eHowzit. “These snakes move away from trails as soon as it hears cyclists or cars approaching. In this case, it essentially couldn’t move due to the weight of the animal in its stomach.”
Park rangers were speculating what the snake had sᴡᴀʟʟᴏᴡᴇᴅ for dinner, with guesses including a small warthog to baby impala. “The African Rock Python who is close to our cycle track must have sᴡᴀʟʟᴏᴡᴇᴅ a small warthog or an impala calf!”, a ranger said. Meanwhile, the snake had become somewhat of a celebrity for the wildlife sanctuary – people were visiting in hope of catching a glimpse of the sᴡᴏʟʟᴇɴ snake.
Facebook commentators also questioned the ranger, asking if “all of their party was accounted for,” and they cheekily responded, “We have checked all of our staff, and so far no guests or naughty children are ᴍɪssɪɴɢ!!”
Days later, park rangers found the python ᴅᴇᴀᴅ near the bike trail and decided to ᴄᴜᴛ it open to see what it ᴀᴛᴇ. They found a whopper of a snack inside the belly of the snake: a 30-lb (13.8 kg) porcupine, quills and all!
Reserve managers found the python ᴅᴇᴀᴅ beneath a rocky ledge, where it had been trying to digest its final meal. Reserve general manager Jennifer Fuller said, “The exact reasons for the snake’s ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ are not clear.”
“It is apparent that several porcupine quills were lodged inside the digestive tract.”
“We don’t know if it ᴅɪᴇᴅ beforehand, or whether the fall drove some of the quills into its digestive tract.”