Snake's massive upside down meal stuns Aussies: ‘I couldn’t look away’

Viewers said it was 'nature at its best'.

Terrifying footage of a snake devouring its supper has shocked and horrified Aussies, but a professional snake catcher warns that it’s an almost “daily occurrence”.

The coastal carpet python was filmed gobbling up a possum on a property on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, yet it wasn’t just the size of the meal that surprised viewers.

The snake was having a bite while upside down and pulling its prey into the rafters of a garage.

The coastal carpet python eating the possum.
The coastal carpet python was filmed eating a possum on a property on the Sunshine Coast. Source: Facebook/Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7

“Coastal carpet pythons have a lot of sharp teeth, a lot of strength and a very good ability of swallowing things whole,” Stuart McKenzie from Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7 told Yahoo News Australia.

With the snake’s mouth stretched impossibly wide over the possum’s body — with just its back legs and tail sticking out — you’ve got to wonder if the python will get stuck.

“It’s very unlikely,” McKenzie said. “Like I've seen it happen before but it's extremely unlikely. That possum wasn't stuck and the snake was doing a good job of swallowing it.”

'It’s a daily occurrence'

While the majority of the internet was stunned by the incident, the snake catcher said “this is a daily occurrence at the moment”.

“We are out of breeding season, in the middle of summer, so this is the time where snakes are looking to get a big feed,” McKenzie explained. “It's happening nearly daily, like snakes entering chicken coops or eating possums or getting into bird aviaries.”

And as for this unique way of playing with your food upside down?

“When snakes have got a big food item like that and they’re not on the ground, that's when they kind of have to try and swallow upside down,” the expert added, “which can be difficult, but yeah, it’s pretty amazing.”

McKenzie advised residents to make sure their garages were sealed and yards cleaned in an effort to stop snakes from stopping in for a meal.

But some said they would welcome the pest controller. “I need this guy at my place, bloody possums always get in my roof,” one person said. “A fantastic video showing nature at its best,” another praised. “Very educational for those who don't live with snakes in their backyards.”

Yet others weren't too sure. “That is a hell of a nope for me... poor possum and yet I couldn't look away,” someone wrote. “[It’s] pretty amazing what the snakes can do and devour and the way their bodies adapt to the animal they eat.” While another added: “[It] still amazes me how a snake can digest something that huge.”

Snake forced to give up its feed

While this coastal carpet python looked like it was having no trouble taking on the possum, a scrub python was recently forced to abandon its meal after it got stuck trying to swallow an agile wallaby.

Scrub python trying to eat a wallaby.
The scrub python was pictured trying to eat the agile wallaby in Townsville. Source: Facebook

In a series of photos taken on a property in Townsville, the reptile can be seen attempting to demolish the marsupial, before it called it a day.

“It essentially just gave up when it realised it was too big of a prey item,” Jeremy De Haan from Jeremy’s Reptile Relocations Townsville told Yahoo.

“Because if it did manage to successfully get it down, there is a chance that that prey item was just too big to digest and it could have resulted in the death of the python.”

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