There were no winners when a two-meter carpet snake slithered away with an empty stomach after spending four hours trying to swallow a possum whole.
Photographs of the epic ᴇɴᴄᴏᴜɴᴛᴇʀ were snapped by Ipswich truck painter Tim Sharman at his Bellbird Park house – west of Brisbane.
Mr. Sharman and his cousin were enjoying a few beers on Saturday when they were interrupted by a loud bang. He heard a lot of grunting’ from the possum while it was still ᴀʟɪᴠᴇ as the snake coiled itself around its prey.
“We saw the snake and possum fall off the roof, the snake had the possum wrapped up tight,” he told. “They made a lot of noise when they fell off the roof and then rolled around on the concrete for a bit ꜰɪɢʜᴛɪɴɢ. There was a big bang as they hit the handrail [of the stairs] and the concrete.”
And it seems the possum did put up a bit of a ꜰɪɢʜᴛ as Mr. Sharman said it took the snake 30 minutes to ᴋɪʟʟ the marsupial before feasting. “The snake started eating the possum’s head first and he slowly worked his way up the body of the possum,” he said. “The noise from the snake when eating was like heavy breathing.”
Mr. Sharman said it took the snake four hours from about 8 pm for it to reach the possum’s hind legs. But it proved to be too big of a mouthful for the snake because it started regurgitating the possum – which was 40cm long – back up.
Australia’s leading snake expert, Raymond ‘Snake Man’ Hoser, said that by the standard of carpet snakes, this one wasn’t actually huge. “I’d say this was about 8 feet, and they can get up to 10 feet long,” Mr. Hoser said.
Carpet snakes are found all across Australia, with this particular variety, a Brisbane carpet snake, found all along the Queensland coast.
“I catch these more than any other snake because they’re obviously quite big and move slowly. They normally live up a tree, and people will come out into their yard and see one there and freak out.”
With over 30 years of experience with snakes and other reptiles, Mr. Hoser has discovered and named more than 300 types of snakes around the world. He often feeds snakes and he said that it is harder for snakes in the wild to digest animals.