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Australian Woman Documents Carpet Python Devouring King Parrot

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A woman from Australia was able to photograph a carpet python (Morelia spilota) swallow a whole king parrot (Alisterus scapularis) at her home along the central coast of Queensland.

The images, which were posted on local snake hunter Stuart McKenzie's Facebook page last week, show the snake ingest the fruit-eating bird at the woman's residence at Agnes Water, north of Bundaberg.

McKenzie said that while bird lovers might find the images disturbing, it was "cool" to witness how nature does its work.

The snake hunter added that the carpet python featured in the photographs was still relatively a small one compared to others of its species. He estimated that was only about a meter and a half or close to 5 feet in length.

The snake would have also taken around 15 minutes to gobble up the whole king parrot, according to McKenzie's estimates.

Carpet pythons, also called diamond pythons, are endemic to the wilds of Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Australia. They are known to grow up to 3 meters (9.8 feet) long and weigh around 15 kilograms (33 pounds).

These snakes kill their prey by wrapping around their victim's body to cut off the flow of blood.

The woman's photographs show the carpet python dangling from the roof as it devours the bird.

"I'd say that what happened is the snake would have been relaxing on the roof, getting a bit of sun and the bird landed a bit too close," McKenzie explained. "The snake, being opportunistic, would have struck."

While carpet pythons are not a venomous species of snake, they are considered to be the most populous native snakes on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

McKenzie shared that most of the calls he receives comprise of requests by local residents to remove the large reptiles from their property.

He said that he has seen the snakes consume a wide variety of local species of birds, including those up to the size of a large rooster. Carpet pythons are also known to devour their share of possums and pet guinea pigs.

McKenzie said the carpet python in the photograph would have squeezed the life out of the king parrot before swallowing it.

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