A greedy python bit off more than he could chew when he perished after swallowing a prickly porcupine.
The bloated 12-foot African rock python was found by a mountain biker, lying next to a bicycle track at Lake Eland Game Reserve, on the east coast of South Africa.
The images were posted to the reserve’s Facebook page, and initially stumped the ranger who shared them.
“The African Rock Python who is close to our cycle track must have swallowed a small warthog or an impala calf!”
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 missing!!”
The unlucky python’s eyes were clearly bigger than his belly when he sized up his last supper — a 28-pound porcupine.
The python was found with his innards punctured by dozens of needle-sharp quills from the porcupine.
Caters News Agency
Reserve managers found the python dead 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 death are not clear.
“It is apparent that several porcupine quills were lodged inside the digestive tract.
“It had fallen off the rocky ledge.
“We don’t know if it died beforehand, or whether the fall drove some of the quills into its digestive tract.”
Whereas some predators will be warned off by the visual threat displays of a porcupine, many snake species rely on thermal or chemical sensory mechanisms to ambush prey at night.