Shocked golfers witness python eating wallaby on Australian golf course

A python wrestling with a wallaby in the middle of a fairway on a golf course in Cairns on Dec 10, 2016.
A python wrestling with a wallaby in the middle of a fairway on a golf course in Cairns on Dec 10, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) - 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.

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

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


A python wrestling with a wallaby in the middle of a fairway on a golf course in Cairns on Dec 10, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

"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.

"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.

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

"It looked like it might have dropped out of a tree, got a hold of (the wallaby), then there was a bit of a struggle and it rolled into the middle of the fairway."