Cape Town - South Africa's flagship national park Kruger never fails to deliver the goods when it comes to an extraordinary wildlife sighting.
First-time visitors to Kruger should note that it is likely on any safari drive to not spot anything at all. And then you'll suddenly stumble on something like this.
SANParks ranger Stanford Leonel has been following a python, nicknamed Mr Big after he spotted it taking on a massive bush meal in the form of a whole impala.
Posting to the SANParks Kruger group on Facebook on Monday 9 April, Stanford says, "Finally Mr big finish his meal with help of rain showers."
Stanford initially came across the snake in the Malelane section of the park at about 11h00 and continued photographing it at intervals up till 17h45.
On Tuesday morning "Mr Big" was nowhere to be found. Stanford says, “His tracks disappeared into thick bush about 50 metres from the last position. Thank you, till the next time I find something interesting…”
Many in the group commented on the post in awe of the unusual sighting.
Adele Sneyd said, "Once in a lifetime shots Stanford. Very happy for you and thank you for sharing this amazing sighting."
Mathibela Aphane stated, "Impala swallowed whole, this is a monster python."
Some speculated about the length of time it would take for the snake to digest the impala, expecting the python to 'feast' on it for the next month."
Brenda Moche said, "Took the whole day...bones and skin, will probably take a month to digest."
Cde Mantsara Impande stated, "Not really, these things are digested very fast , I read about that one that ate a crocodile in Queensland. You’d be surprised how the metabolic system changes. The heart enlarged to about five times while it’s other parts also increase in size to facilitate the quick digestion of the larger meal. If it took that long to digest then the python would be left vulnerable to attack by other predators like lions and leopards if it can’t move."
Hannes Meyer said, "Wow you were so lucky to film this basically from catch to the final act of swallowing the pray. Hope the snake is not found by people looking to adorn the wall in his or her lounge with the skin."