Swallowed Porcupine Kills Python In South Africa

By @vitthernandez on
(IN PHOTO) A ten-day-old Crested Porcupine (Hystrix cristata) cub walks at the exotic animals department of the Royev Ruchey zoo on the suburbs of Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, February 20, 2012. Reuters

Because of its strength and might, the snake often triumphs over other animals which it wants to devour as its next meal. Because of its flexible jaws, the snake could swallow large beasts such as pigs, cats, joeys, antelopes and humans.

However, at South Africa’s Lake Eland Game Reserve, a python ate a small rodent that weighed only 13.8 kilogrammes but it eventually died from the prey. The reason – the rodent was a porcupine with deadly quills.

The victim, it turned out, was a 3.9-metre-long African Rock Python which reserve staff found dead over the weekend. The porcupine, although dead too, was fully intact inside the snake’s stomach. But some of its quills were lodge inside the python’s digestive tract, report Time which published images of the snake’s bulging tummy and the porcupine corpse after reserve staff opened the python’s stomach.

According to A Moment of Science, the porcupine quills are the rodent’s hairs with protective attributes. Infections from its quills, if untreated, could be fatal. Dogs, for instance, which explore with their mouths, are at risk of quill hit that would make eating for the animal painful. In rare and severe instances, the quilled animal could die from shock.

Meanwhile, in Kruger National Park, also in South Africa, another battle for beast supremacy was captured by a photographer who shot a crocodile snapping at a warthog that got too close for comfort. The warthog was drinking out of a watering hole where the croc was swimming.

There was no winner as the warthog left the watering hole immediately, reports the New York Post. Caters News Agency identified Coen vd Berg as the lensman who captured the image of the croc snapping at the warthog.

To contact the writer, email: vittoriohernandez@yahoo.com