Australia

Snake eats wallaby on Australian golf course

The golf course in Far North Queensland is known for its wildlife Image copyright Robert Willemse
Image caption The golf course in Far North Queensland is known for its wildlife

Australian golfers have watched a 4m scrub python swallow a wallaby at a course in Far North Queensland.

The incident happened on the 17th fairway at Paradise Palms Golf Course in Cairns at the weekend.

The scrub python, Australia's longest snake, often ambushes prey by hiding in trees or long grass.

A course manager said the display did not deter golfers from finishing their rounds.

Robert Willemse, a club member for almost 10 years, said the snake was spotted wrapped around the marsupial in the middle of the fairway.

"Everybody was pretty surprised. It's quite an unusual thing to see," he told the BBC.

"I was only there for about five minutes, but I heard that the snake did manage to swallow the wallaby and rolled into a dry creek."

A club spokesman told the Cairns Post newspaper that locals were used to seeing various wildlife on the "rainforest-style" course.

Image copyright Robert Willemse
Image caption The scrub python can be found in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia

Dan Natusch, a biologist from the University of Sydney, said it was not unusual for a scrub python to eat a wallaby.

"They're arguably Australia's largest terrestrial predator, larger than a dingo," he told the BBC.

Mr Natusch said the non-venomous species did not pose a major threat to humans.

"Scrub pythons don't see us as prey," he said.

"Exercise caution insofar as they have very sharp teeth and you don't want to be bitten."

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