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Python dies after eating giant porcupine

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The 13-foot African Rock Python bit off more than it could chew when it died after eating a 30-pound porcupine. (Photo: Lake Eland Game Reserve)

The 13-foot African Rock python bit off more than it could chew when it died after eating a 30-pound porcupine. (Photo: Lake Eland Game Reserve)

 

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Looks like this snake’s eyes were bigger than its appetite.

A 13-foot African Rock python bit off more than it could chew when it ingested a 30-pound porcupine in South Africa.

The Lake Eland Game Reserve in South Africa posted the graphic photos onto its Facebook page, showing the bloated snake, who later died. An autopsy showed sharp porcupine quills poking through its digestive track.

Porcupines are part of python’s typical diet, so it should have been able to digest it no matter how prickly the quills, Jennifer Fuller, an employee at the reserve, told AFP.

Fuller suspects the snake became stressed from gawking visitors, who were fascinated by its bulge.

“We think that maybe with so many people viewing it, (that) put it under stress and when a snake is under stress it normally regurgitates and brings up its meal so that it can get away,” she said.

The snake died June 20.

Rock pythons are the largest snakes in Africa and have been known to swallow and digest much larger animals, like antelope.

Warning: some photos included in the gallery are graphic.