Ever spot something cool while you were on a bike ride? Probably nothing quite as interesting as this massive python that was spotted by a cyclist on June 14th. The snake, engorged nearly to the point of immobility by a mystery animal that bulged in its gut, was spotted next to a trail in the Lake Eland Game Reserve in South Africa.
The cyclist uploaded photos of the snake to social media.
This pic, and others, generated a lot of curiosity from locals. The snake drew lots of visitors to the park, to gawk and wonder what it could have possibly swallowed.
The python was thirteen feet long.
Believe it or not, that’s just over half as long as they can grow under perfect conditions. They’re capable of growing up to twenty-three feet long. They can also live up to twenty-five years. Even so, it’s unbelievable how wide the python can expand when consuming. That’s one fat snake!
People speculated about what it could have eaten.
Some guessed that it had swallowed a young impala (the animal, not the car). Others thought it might have been a warthog. When I first saw these images, the best thing I could come up with was a baby deer. We were all wrong… very wrong. Something no one would of guessed.
Researchers found its body, and here prepare to dissect it.
It was found dead beneath a rocky ledge. Chances are, it fell off the ledge and was internally damaged by its former meal. They were eager to discover what kind of prize lay within it. Although it may appear that the snake bit off more than it could chew (so to speak), the snake’s body can accommodate this kind of mass without pain.
The mystery meal ended up being an enormous porcupine.
After a slit is cut with a razor, the snake’s distended flesh peels back to reveal the partially-digested corpse of a very large porcupine. The brown objects appear to be vertebrae. Yet, even at this stage, you really can’t tell what that thing is… To me it still looks like a lump of flesh with thick fur.
The porcupine weighed thirty pounds.
Believe it or not, that’s not really that huge for a Cape porcupine. The really big ones can grow to be over fifty pounds.
Pythons are actually known to eat porcupines.
Though you wouldn’t think it, porcupines are regular prey animals for pythons. Although it was possible that the undigested quills punctured its internal organs and killed it, the most likely scenario is that the force of the snake’s fall from the rocky ledge led to internal wounds. Who would of thought your meal would end up killing you?