If you are afraid of snakes, then this post is not for you. If you are afraid of porcupines, this post is also not for you. I won’t apologize for what you are about to read and see, but let’s just say that you have been warned! I’m not really too afraid of snakes or porcupines, but if I see one in my path I would definitely be headed in the opposite direction. When it comes to the circle of life, I know my limits. And those limits aren’t all that big. On June 14, 2015 a bicyclist in South Africa spotted a snake. While the snake looked pretty engorged, they didn’t necessarily want to stick around to see what was going on. So they alerted the correct officials and here is the story about what happens when a snake eats a porcupine.
On June 14th, a bicyclist was on a mountain bike trail at the Lake Eland Game Reserve which is located in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. On the side of the trail, it saw the snake pictured above. The snake was still alive, so they wanted to have someone check on it as soon as possible.
After being alerted by the cyclist, park rangers decided to have a closer look. They were thinking that the snake had decided to have something a little too large for dinner, maybe along the lines of a small warthog or even a baby impala.
After a week of observation, the snake died on June 20th. The snake was found on the side of a bike trail, so they wanted to autopsy it to see exactly what it consumed. When they cut open they snake, the insides revealed a 30lb porcupine!
It’s not very common for a snake, or more specifically a python, to eat a porcupine. Even if it’s not uncommon, it’s a very dangerous thing for these snakes to eat. It was once found that a porcupine’s quills are so sharp that they can go entirely through a snake’s body.
Snakes that are found in the Lake Eland Game Reserve have been seen eating animals that are larger than this 30lb porcupine. Owner of Lake Eland Game Reserve, Eric Dunstone, has even seen a python swallow an adult oribi antelope WHOLE! Oribi bucks can weigh up to 50lbs. And while 30lbs seems like a lot of food for a snake to eat, it’s not unheard of and definitely not what killed this snake.
They aren’t 100% sure it was the actual porcupine that killed the python. The snake was found at the bottom of a rocky ledge where it appeared to have fallen. They believe that the snake ate the porcupine, ended up falling off the ledge, and when it fell, the quills pierced the python’s digestive track. This would have killed the snake.
The rangers ended up stripping off the python’s skin so they could remove the porcupine from the snake’s digestive system.
This snake ended up measuring out at 12.8 feet long. Because of the snake’s jaw, which move independently from one another, it was able to open its mouth very wide in order to swallow this porcupine whole.
I’m sure this was not the fate that the python was hoping for when it decided to eat a porcupine for lunch, but I guess it’s survival of the fittest, and both of these animals failed miserably. The person that took the photos, along with the park rangers, are definitely more brave than I ever hope to be. I couldn’t imagine seeing a large python on the side of the road. I would panic and would probably never visit South Africa for as long as I live.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.