Unique photography experiences don’t happen very often and I was a very lucky photographer to witness this one.
My partner and I were walking home after a nice meal in a local restaurant when we saw a group of people crowding around something on the path. We walked over to see what the fuss was about. It was a 2 meter amethystine python squeezing a fruit bat to death. The snake must have caught the bat and fallen out of the tree with it securely wrapped in its coils.
We could hear the bat screaming as the snake tightened its grip. I did feel sorry for the bat but was not going to rescue it as this was an act of nature, and one which I felt very lucky to see. I immediately got my phone out and started to take some photos. There was lots of people joining the crowd and we were worried that we would disturb the snake. There was a couple of times when it uncoiled itself to stretch out towards the crowd. It was trying to warn us off and protect its prey.
Eventually the crowd began to thin out and the snake began to relax. By now the bat had stopped screaming and we were sure it was dead. We started to see extra skin being let out on the underside of the snake.
Turning the bat around in its coils the snake worked out the best way to eat it, before dislocating its jaw and stretching its mouth around the bats head. This was the largest part of the bat, obviously the snake wanted to get the hardest part out of the way.
It took another hour for the snake to slowly wiggle its mouth over the extent of the bat, finishing with the tips of its claws. The snake now had a large bat shaped mass inside its belly and will be satisfied for a few months.
The next morning the snake had gone, but I felt extremely lucky to have had the experience of watching one of nature’s most bizarre feeding strategies.
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