African python pictured swallowing WHOLE wildebeest for first time

African python pictured swallowing WHOLE wildebeest for first timeCaters

The rare moment a python stretched its jaws to an unbelievable size to swallow a wildebeest calf head-first has been caught on camera.

The African python looked like its eyes were bigger than its belly when it was discovered in the South African bush munching the massive meal.

It is thought to be the first time this behaviour has been caught on camera as the python - which can grow up to 16 foot - is thought to normally go for much smaller prey.

The amazing encounter was photographed at the Welgevonden Game Reserve, South Africa, by manager Rudi Hulshof.

African python pictured swallowing WHOLE wildebeest for first timeCaters

According to the Daily Mail, Rudi, 35, said: "This was the first time I had ever seen something like this, and I have been working as a game ranger for 15 years already in South Africa, and have also travelled to other African Countries.

"This is an incredibly rare sighting, and is by my knowledge the first time that it has been recorded, let alone photographed and documented that a Southern African python catches prey as big as the blue wildebeest, albeit a wildebeest calf.

"Herpetologists I have consulted are all impressed, and dumbfounded by the images when they have seen them.

"It is not uncommon for pythons to catch live mammal prey, but this would usually consist of smaller species like hares, rabbits, impala lambs, duiker antelope, squirrels, birds, rats, cane rats and rodents etc.

"But to have managed something so big is mind boggling. This can be seen by how the python needed to really stretch its mouth to the limits to try and swallow the prey."

Rudi was out with a group of tourists looking for lions and leopards when he came across the amazing scene.

He led the sightseers to the spot, and they watched the spectacle for around 30 minutes before darkness fell and they all headed back to their car "speechless".

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