One morning we heard impala alarm calling close to the river, which signalled a predator in the area, and our first instinct was to suspect that it was a leopard or a lion. However, when we reached the area, we noticed that these impala were staring at the ground. It was then that we noticed a small impala lamb lying motionless. Wrapped around its fragile body was an African rock python that was at least four metres in length.
A few minutes later the herd moved away leaving the snake with her prize, but we watched fascinated as she continued to squeeze despite the lack of life left in the poor lamb’s body.
The mother impala returned and came close to her baby’s body, distraught and calling in alarm. When the snake was confident that the lamb was dead, it released its grip. It then locked its jaws around the lamb’s nose and efficiently moved it into the undergrowth out of our sight.
In the 21st century, globalisation has brought the planet’s disparate populations and cultures closer than ever before, but there are still places — and people — who remain largely untouched by the outside world.
Two White Giraffes—A Mom and a Calf—Are Thrilling Wildlife Fans in Kenya
A mother and a calf were spotted by the Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy in Garissa County, Kenya. The giraffes have leucism, a genetic condition that reduces the ability to produce pigment.
Unlike albinism, animals with leucism may display ghostly traces of their normal patterns
The Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy in Garissa County, Kenya, is famous for its rare hirola antelopes: quick, sharp-horned ungulates endemic to the area. Back in early June, though, a resident walking near the conservancy saw something else unusual: a ghostly, tall animal, stepping through the brush.
The villager informed a ranger, who ferried the news to researchers at the nearby Hirola Conservation Program. “We hurriedly headed to the scene as soon as we got the news,” one researcher recalled recently, on the Program’s blog. “And lo! There, right [in front] of us, was the so hyped ‘white giraffe’ of Ishaqbini conservancy!” Just seconds later, another surprise was in store. There were not one, but two white giraffes: a mother and a calf.
As the researcher explains, these two giraffes have what is called leucism, a heritable genetic condition that reduces an animal’s ability to produce pigment. Unlike albinism, leucism doesn’t disrupt pigmentation entirely: affected individuals may display ghostly traces of their normal patterns. That’s true of the young giraffe in this video, whose spots remain slightly visible (he looks a bit like he’s just rolled around in flour).
Leucism has been noted in many different animal species, from pythons and crocodiles to lions and tigers. Although leucistic giraffes seem to be fairly rare, the wildlife biologist Zoe Muller writes that sightings have been reported as far back as 1938, and again in 1956, 2005, 2011, and 2015. (Muller points out that several of these leucistic giraffes were originally mischaracterized as albinos.)
In early 2016, camel herders in Garissa County started spotting another white giraffe, which researchers managed to photograph in April of that year. (It’s unclear whether this is the same giraffe as the mother with the calf.)
Since then, the HCP researcher writes, “sightings have become a common occurrence,” and community members are keeping their eyes peeled. “‘This is new to us,’ the researcher quotes a local ranger as saying. ‘I remember when I was a kid, we never saw them.’” Now, they have at least two to look out for.
CAIRNS snake catchers have removed an amethystine python so huge it was mistaken for a crocodile.
A neighbour poked his head over Whiterock resident Rini Steenwinkel’s fence, telling her and husband Platon Zapantis to he had found a five-metre reptile metres from their yard.
The well-fed serpent’s length and wallaby-fed girth caught the expert from Cairns Snake Removals expert by surprise upon his arrival.
5m Amethystine python eats fully grown Wallaby. Snake and Wallaby weighing in at around 40 kg. Quite a handful for 2 of us to pickup. This snake was too large to bag. We decided it would be best to try & carry the snake out of the open yard and take him down to a nearby creek.
At Cebu City Zoo in the Philippines, they’re trying to make the zoo more “interactive” — you can now get a massage from four 20ft Burmese pythons. The massage consists of simply putting the pythons — totally 250 kilograms (550 pounds) — on top of you and letting them sliver all over your body.
In case you were wondering, yes, a Burmese python is totally capable of killing you through constriction, and can deliver a pretty mean bite as well. But the zoo feeds each of the pythons “ten or more chickens” prior to each massage in order “to curb any hunger pangs.”
I should note that, according to Wikipedia, “Burmese pythons are opportunistic feeders…they will eat almost any time food is offered.” On the plus side, the massage is free.
A Fishing Spider eat fish, after hunting it.
What is more frightening: the spider, or the commentator’s accent?
About The Fishing Spider
Dolomedes is a genus of large spiders of the family Pisauridae. They are also known as fishing spiders, raft spiders, dock spiders or wharf spiders. Almost all Dolomedes species are semi-aquatic, with the exception of the tree-dwelling D. albineus of the southwestern United States. Many species have a striking pale stripe down each side of the body (…)
(…) Rather than hunting on land or by waiting in a web, these spiders hunt on the water surface itself, preying on mayflies, other aquatic insects, and even small fish. For fishing spiders, the water surface serves the same function as a web does for other spiders. They extend their legs onto the surface, feeling for vibrations given off by prey. [Read More on Wikipedia]