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Rare Sight Of African Rock Python Coiled Around A Big Male Vervet Monkey

An African rock python is not often seen in the wild, and even less so, one of these colossal snakes – the largest in Africa – with its victim.

So we were doubly lucky on a trip to South Africa’s Kruger National Park when we found a python near the side of the road, coiled around a large male vervet.

Two of our party discovered the python after they were warned something was wrong by the frantic alarms of birds in the vicinity.

When we arrived (3.28pm), the python had already rolled two full turns around the monkey’s body (right). There was no sign of life from the victim.

But it clearly didn’t give up without a fight, as we can see bloody wounds on the python’s body, inflicted by the desperate monkey’s sharp teeth. As we watched (3.43 pm), the python started untangling itself (above) until it was completely uncoiled and lying full-length in the grass.

The python then slithered back towards the monkey (3.59 pm), apparently looking for a way to start swallowing it. The close-up of the python’s head with the monkey in the foreground clearly shows blood around the python’s mouth, possibly from when it first sank its teeth into the monkey before squeezing it to death.

At this stage (3.59 pm) the python seemed unsure of what to do and, to our disappointment, slithered away and disappeared into its hole in an old tree stump nearby, leaving the body of the monkey lying prone in the grass.

And once more luck was on our side, as the python was back (6.08 pm), again coiled round the monkey, very slowly starting to swallow the monkey. From our position, we couldn’t see this very well but we could see that the python had literally begun to strangle the monkey.

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