This is the incredibly rare moment an African python was caught on camera trying to ᴇᴀᴛ an entire wildebeest.
The massive snake looked like its eyes were bigger than its belly when it was discovered in the South African bush sᴡᴀʟʟᴏᴡɪɴɢ the massive meal.
It is thought to be the first time this behaviour has been caught on camera as the python – which can grow up to 16 foot – was believed to try for much smaller ᴘʀᴇʏ.
The ɢʀᴜᴇsᴏᴍᴇ ᴇɴᴄᴏᴜɴᴛᴇʀ was photographed at the Welgevonden Game Reserve, South Africa, by manager Rudi Hulshof.
Rudi, 35, said: “This was the first time I had ever seen something like this, and I have been working as a game ranger for 15 years already in South Africa, and have also travelled to other African Countries.
“This is an incredibly rare sighting, and is by my knowledge the first time that it has been recorded, let alone photographed and documented that a Southern African python catches ᴘʀᴇʏ as big as the blue wildebeest, albeit a wildebeest calf.
“Herpetologists I have consulted are all impressed, and ᴅᴜᴍʙꜰᴏᴜɴᴅᴇᴅ by the images when they have seen them.
“It is not uncommon for pythons to ᴄᴀᴛᴄʜ live mammal ᴘʀᴇʏ, but this would usually consist of smaller species like hares, rabbits, impala lambs, duiker antelope, squirrels, birds, rats, cane rats and rodents etc.
“But to have managed something so big is mind boggling. This can be seen by how the python needed to really stretch its mouth to the limits to try and sᴡᴀʟʟᴏᴡ the ᴘʀᴇʏ.
“I have been photographing wildlife for the past 15 years while I have been working in the industry, at various lodges and game reserves spread around South Africa.”
Rudi said he came across the unusual ᴇɴᴄᴏᴜɴᴛᴇʀ while searching for lions and leopards. Rudi said that the wildebeest was only about two months old, but it was really big compared to the African python.
After leaving the scene and returning the next morning, Rudi and his team found nothing. There were no traces of the ᴄʟᴀsʜ, no pythons and no wildebeest. Everything ᴡᴀs ɢᴏɴᴇ and the python probably had a full meal and was looking for a safe haven to digest it.