The Battle between the Impala and Python

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“I have been on a dozen safaris but this sighting, seen in 2014 at Kings Pool Camp in Botswana, ranks as my most unusual… “ – Prabha Sinha

An early morning game drive delivered an incredible sighting for Kings Pool guests who came across a python in the process of strangling a young impala ram.

The below scene, captured by Prabha Kant Sinha on his visit to Kings Pool Camp, shows the remarkable strength of the African rock python and the long process involved for the snake to successfully devour its quarry.

Please note the images below may be disturbing to sensitive viewers.

7:02 am: The first rays of the sun catch a python strangling a young male impala in a clearing 10 minutes from camp.

06:40 am: 20 minutes earlier we came upon this scene as another impala looks on with apprehension and curiosity.

The choke.

7:33 am: The impala appears dead. The python examines its surroundings.

7:37 am: The python loosens its grip.

7:46 am: The python begins a slow process of dragging the carcass away from the clearing into the grass. It takes an hour to cover 15 meters.

11:49 am: The python has already swallowed the head and is coming upon the wide impala shoulders. It looks impossible.

12:07 pm: Crushing the rib cage, the python pushes the carcass into its mouth. Note the protruding impala horns in the python's abdomen.

12:36 pm: Unexpectedly, the python regurgitates the impala and disappears into the grass.

4:37 pm: We return in the afternoon. The python is back and only the impala's hind legs are visible.

4:56 pm: Done! An apparent 'smile' as the python fixes its dislocated jaw before disappearing into the grass. It has been over 10 hours.

Photographed by Prabha Kant Sinha

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