A python constricts a giant lizard in the open, only to realize it is being watched. It then drags its kill to enjoy in some nearby bushes.
Rudolph Strydom was out for an early morning game drive at the Phinda Game Lodge when he witnessed the scene. He shared it with LatestSightings.com.
“While out on drive, we saw some commotion up ahead in an open sandy area. Upon closer inspection, we realized it was an African rock python attempting to kill a monitor lizard!”
African rock pythons are large and powerful snakes. They can grow up to 20 feet in length and weigh over 150 pounds. They are found throughout sub-Saharan Africa and are known for their incredible ability to constrict their prey.
“The snake was able to get a good anchor bite right around the head of the lizard. It then began coiling around the lizard. The lizard was immobilized by the sheer strength of this snake. With every struggle of the lizard, the snake tightened its grip.”
Unlike venomous snakes, rock pythons kill their prey by wrapping their powerful bodies around it and squeezing it until it suffocates. This technique is highly effective and allows the python to take down prey much larger than itself.
“After successfully constricting the monitor lizard, the rock python began to drag it towards some nearby bushes. With complete ease, the snake was able to drag the lizard through the sand and into the bushes, out of sight.”
Despite being relatively slim and flexible, rock pythons are capable of swallowing prey that is much larger than their own heads. They do this by dislocating their jaw and stretching their skin and muscles to accommodate the meal. It can take several days for the python to digest such a large meal, during which time it will remain hidden and vulnerable to predators.
“I could hardly believe my eyes as I watched the python drag the monitor lizard away. I knew that I was witnessing a truly rare and incredible sight, one that I would never forget. Despite not being able to see the actual consumption of the lizard, I knew for certain that the snake was going to sleep with a full belly.”