IT’S a dog-eat-dog world out there, or in the case of this bizarre animal ᴇɴᴄᴏᴜɴᴛᴇʀ, it’s snake-eat-fox. Or is it fox-eat-snake? It’d be hard to tell if not for witness Robert Cregan, who unraveled the mystery after his son spotted the ᴡᴀʀʀɪɴɢ pair on the NSW north coast.
“It was just by the side of the road. The fox had bitten the snake on the head, looking for a meal I guess,” Mr. Cregan said. “Then the snake constricted the fox.”
But with the ᴅʏɪɴɢ fox’s jaws still clamped tightly around the 2m carpet python’s neck on Monday, each sᴛʀᴀɴɢʟɪɴɢ coil of its body made it more difficult to ᴇsᴄᴀᴘᴇ the clutches of its would-be ᴀssᴀssɪɴ.
“We had to prise the jaws of the fox open but when the snake sensed we were doing that it constricted the fox’s head even more,” Mr. Cregan said.
“We managed to prise the fox’s jaws open and then we were able to release the head of the snake. It had a bit of a look at me and my son and we just left it where it was.”
Mr. Cregan, a farmer from Marom Creek, near Lismore, said carpet snakes were relatively common in the area, but he had never before seen anything like Monday night’s wildlife spectacle. “It was certainly quite an exciting thing to see,” he said. Taronga Zoo reptiles supervisor Michael McFadden said foxes often ᴘʀᴇʏᴇᴅ on snakes — though maybe they’ll think twice about it now.
The carpet python , is a large snake of the family Pythonidae found in Australia, New Guinea (Indonesia and Papua New Guinea), Bismarck Archipelago, and the northern Solomon Islands.
The carpet python is reaching between 2 and 4 m (6.6 and 13.1 ft) in length and weighing up to 15 kg (33 lb). Males are typically smaller than females; in some regions, females are up to four times heavier. The head is triangular with a conspicuous row of thermoreceptive labial pits.
Carpet pythons ᴋɪʟʟ ᴘʀᴇʏ by ᴄᴏɴsᴛʀɪᴄᴛɪᴏɴ. Their diet consists mainly of small mammals, birds, and lizards. Incidents of carpet pythons ᴅᴇᴠᴏᴜʀɪɴɢ domestic cats and small dogs have been reported.