Offbeat

Python eats wallaby on Australian golf course in front of stunned players

MELBOURNE: A routine round of golf has taken a uniquely Australian turn with stunned players finding a giant python wrestling with a wallaby on a fairway.

Robert Willemse was on the 17th hole at the Paradise Palms course in Cairns in north Queensland on Saturday when he heard that a four-metre (13-foot) scrub python was gorging on the native marsupial nearby.

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“It had (the wallaby) in a vice-like grip and it was swallowing it,” Willemse, who regularly plays at the course, told a wire service, having halted his game to take a look.

He snapped photos of the encounter before heading back to finish his round.

“I heard later on… as other golfers and staff members came out to have a look at it, that it did actually succeed in swallowing it all and then it rolled into a dry creek nearby and slithered away into the bush, probably to digest its rather large meal,” he said.

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“There’s a lot of wildlife in the tropical north,” Willemse added, noting that wallabies,  which resemble a smaller version of kangaroos, were a common sight on the fairways, although snakes were not.

Willemse said the scrub python — Australia’s largest snake which can grow to 8.5 metres long — was likely to have dropped onto the unsuspecting wallaby from a tree.

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