A large snake won an epic battle against a crocodile in Queensland, Australia, eating the animal whole after going up against it before shocked onlookers.
The lengthy struggle between the 10-foot snake, believed to be a python, and crocodile at Lake Moondarra, near Mount Isa, on Sunday, was captured on camera.
The snake coiled itself around the crocodile, which was about 3 feet in length.
“It was amazing,” Tiffany Corlis, a local author, told BBC. “We saw the snake fighting with the crocodile – it would roll the crocodile around to get a better grip, and coil its body around the crocodile's legs to hold it tight.”
Corlis said the brawl started in the lake with the croc trying to survive by keeping its head above water, but the snake continued to tighten its coils around the animal.
“After the crocodile had died, the snake uncoiled itself, came around to the front, and started to eat the crocodile, face-first,” she added.
Travis Corlis, Tiffany’s husband, said the encounter lasted for several hours and he noticed the snake drag the crocodile onto the banks of the lake and release its victim.
“About 10 minutes later the crocodile was gone,” he said, referring to the croc being gobbled, according to the Irish Examiner.
Constriction is a method used by pythons to suffocate their prey or cause heart failure, and jaws of various snake species are flexible, allowing them to swallow and digest animals that can be more than half their body size.
According to Bryan Fry, a snake expert from The School of Biological Sciences at the University of Queensland, the meal would satisfy the snake’s hunger for a month. He adds that as long as the reptile is digesting, it can no longer defend itself.
“Now it might go and find a hollow in the mud and tuck itself away for a while,” he said.
Even though water pythons usually eat smaller animals and rodents, Fry adds that small fresh water crocodiles are easy prey.
"Crocs are more dangerous to catch but easier to sneak up on," he said.