Python's main course: A wallaby

Mr Willemse took this photo of the 4m-long scrub python gorging on the wallaby at the Paradise Palms course in Cairns. He said the reptile was likely to have dropped onto the unsuspecting wallaby from a tree.
Mr Willemse took this photo of the 4m-long scrub python gorging on the wallaby at the Paradise Palms course in Cairns. He said the reptile was likely to have dropped onto the unsuspecting wallaby from a tree.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

SYDNEY • A routine round of golf took a uniquely Australian turn when stunned players found a giant python wrestling with a wallaby on a fairway.

Mr Robert Willemse was on the 17th hole at the Paradise Palms course in Cairns in north Queensland last Saturday when he heard that a 4m-long scrub python was gorging on the native marsupial nearby.

"It had (the wallaby) in a vice-like grip and it was swallowing it," Mr Willemse, who regularly plays at the course, said.

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 (the snake) 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.

"There's a lot of wildlife in the tropical north."

He said that wallabies, which resemble a smaller version of kangaroos, were a common sight on the fairways, although snakes were not.

Mr Willemse said the scrub python - Australia's largest snake which can grow to 8.5m - was likely to have dropped onto the unsuspecting wallaby from a tree.

"The snake would never have been able to catch the wallaby in the open like where it was eating it," he said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 14, 2016, with the headline 'Python's main course: A wallaby'. Print Edition | Subscribe