When Nicola Moore ventured onto the back veranda of her home in New South Wales, Australia, last week, she was hoping for a tranquil morning coffee. Instead, she found herself face to face with a two-meter coastal carpet python in the midst of devouring a bird (did I mention Moore lives in Australia?).
The coastal carpet python, scientifically known as Morelia spilota McDowell, was captured on film hanging from the porch roof just a few feet from Moore’s head, its stretched jaws firmly clamped over a tawny frogmouth. Remarkably, the snake appeared unperturbed by the humans snapping photos and shooting videos in close proximity. However, it later regurgitated its meal, a behavior that can signify feeling threatened (or perhaps those wings proved a bit too challenging to swallow!).
When Nicola Moore stepped onto the back veranda of her New South Wales, Australia home last week, hoping for a peaceful morning coffee, she had an unexpected encounter with a two-meter coastal carpet python in the midst of devouring a bird. The python, scientifically known as Morelia spilota McDowell, was hanging from the porch roof just a few feet from Moore’s head, with its stretched jaws firmly clasped over a tawny frogmouth. Remarkably, the snake seemed unfazed by the humans snapping photos and shooting videos nearby. However, it later regurgitated its meal, a behavior indicating it might have felt threatened (or perhaps those wings proved too challenging to swallow!).
Tawny frogmouths, often mistaken for owls due to their similar coloring and nocturnal habits, can reach lengths of over 50 centimeters. According to experts at Australian Snake Catchers, they constitute normal prey for a snake of this size. It’s possible that the python was attempting to consume its meal quickly to escape the human onlookers, but the bird turned out to be a bit too substantial for it to handle.
Coastal carpet pythons can grow up to three meters (ten feet) in length and are widespread throughout Queensland and New South Wales in eastern Australia. They typically prey on birds and small mammals, including some non-native animals that have invaded Australia, like rabbits. These pythons often make urban and suburban landscapes their home due to their adaptable eating habits. Fortunately, most Australians are accustomed to living alongside reptiles, and conflicts with people are minimal.
“Thank goodness this two-meter-long snake had already caught its breakfast,” Moore quipped to Caters News. While carpet pythons can grow quite large, they are non-venomous and not considered a threat to humans. However, they can deliver a painful bite that may require a tetanus injection if directed at a human.
After falling to the ground and making a final attempt to swallow its prey, the python eventually gave up and slithered away.
This is not the first time that Moore has had to deal with unwanted visitors at her home in Crescent Head. Last month, a large goanna lizard broke in and tussled with her dog before seeking refuge behind a chair.
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