A five-hour battle between a snake and a crocodile, which ended with the 10ft-python eating its vanquished opponent, has been caught on camera by stunned local residents in Queensland, Australia.
The extraordinary confrontation took place at Lake Moondarra, near Mount Isa, and drew quite a crowd from people having breakfast nearby.
According to Tiffany Corlis, a local author who filmed the incident on her mobile, the snake coiled itself around the crocodile while both were in the water, but the smaller reptile was able to keep its head in the air and stay alive.
Eventually, the three feet-long croc succumbed to exhaustion, and what some witnesses said may have been up to five hours of constriction, at which point it was dragged out on to dry land.
Ms Corlis said that the crocodile was already in trouble but still fighting by the time she started watching the battle, adding that the incident only got more remarkable when the snake actually started eating its opponent.
She told ABC North West Queensland Radio: “[The crocodile] was fighting at the start, so it was trying to keep its head out of water and survive. But as the morning sort of progressed, you could tell that both of them were getting a little weaker. Finally, the croc sort of gave in.”
Ms Corlis said the incident drew a lot of attention, with a group of people getting “a little too brave” by taking images on their phones from no more than a few feet away
“It was just unbelievable,” she said, particularly when the struggle was over. “We were thinking that the snake had bitten off a little more than it could chew. But it did. It actually ate the crocodile.
“[Afterwards] you could see the crocodile in the snake's belly, you could actually see its legs and see its scales and everything. It was just amazing.”
Ms Corlis insisted that the incident would not discourage her from swimming at Lake Moondarra in the future. “I think I'll just send someone else in first,” she said.