Incredible photographs show the moment a large carpet python wraps itself around a king parrot and swallows the bird whole.
The pictures, taken in Agnes Waters, Queensland, show the snake eating the parrot head first while hanging from the gutter of a woman’s home.
The snake started with the parrot’s head and devoured the whole bird
The Sunshine Coast-based reptile expert told Daily Mail Australia the photos were ‘pretty cool’.
Although he dealt with hundreds of snake-related call-outs every summer, he took time to post them on his Facebook page, saying ‘so cool. Nature at work. Some bird lovers may not like these pictures but the reality is that snakes eat birds, and guess what, birds eat snakes. Circle of life. Enjoy these awesome pictures’.
Mr Mckenzie said carpet pythons, which can grow to about three metres long, often preyed on small mammals and birds.
‘Carpet pythons will take on anything. Any bird that lands too close, they will have a go… they’re opportunistic.’
The parrot had likely landed too close to the python while it was basking and it took its chance and struck, he said.
He had seen instances where they had eaten small pets like guinea pigs, and it was common for them to get into chicken coops and eat chickens.
‘It’s your small pets you have to worry about.’
In some cases, they could take small cats and dogs.
They would bite and squeeze their prey to kill them before starting to swallow them, he said.
WHAT ARE A KING PARROT’S CHARACTERISTICS?
- King Parrot males are the only Australian parrots with a totally red head. Females appear slightly different
- They live on the eastern coast and ranges of Australia, from Queensland to Victoria
- Their average size is about 42 cm long
- They weigh just over .2 kg
- They forage in trees for seeds and fruit
WHAT ARE A CARPET PYTHON’S CHARACTERISTICS?
- A Carpet Python can grow up to 3.5 metres in length
- Their habitats range from tropical rainforests to arid and coastal regions
- They are usually active at night
- Their primary food sources are small mammals, birds and lizards
- They are non-venomous snakes, however, their bite can hurt
Despite not being the largest snake in the country, they were the biggest he relocated on the Sunshine Coast where he was based, and the most common.
‘They are very common – yesterday [Monday] I caught six of them… We have just gone through breeding season. They are definitely out and about,’ he said.
He estimated the snake in the pictures to be about 1.5-2m long – a medium sized carpet python.
Once it had swallowed the parrot, the snake would ‘relax’ several days to digest it.
While not venomous, carpet pythons could still deliver a painful bite.