A round of golf was unexpectedly interrupted by an intrusion on the fairway that would only ever happen on an Australian course. Golfers were shocked when they arrived at the 17th hole to find a giant python feasting on a wallaby.
The Paradise Palms golf course in Cairns in north Queensland is no stranger to wildlife, but the 13-foot scrub python that came slithering onto the fairway was the biggest spotted yet. Golfers, who stumbled upon the scene, witnessed a half an hour struggle between the reptile and marsupial.
Robert Willemse, a Paradise Palms member for almost 10 years, told The Cairns Post, “They [other golfers] shouted us over and said there’s a python having a go at a wallaby.” Willemse said that the snake managed to latch onto the wallaby’s head and the wrestling duo rolled into the middle of the 17th hole fairway.
“The python swallowed it and rolled into the creek, then snuck back into the bush,” Willemse said. “It must have gone for a rest for the next few days.”
The scrub python, which is Australia’s largest snake, may be intimidating in size, but the reptile isn’t harmful to humans. Dan Natusch, a biologist from the University of Sydney, told BBC News that the non-venomous snakes can deliver a painful bite, but that they don’t see humans as prey.
The thriving wildlife surrounding the golf course is part of what attracts golfers to the Paradise Palms course and locals were certainly not alarmed by the news. However, Robert Willemse did find it unusual to spot the giant serpent feasting on its prey in the open, but thinks that may just have to do with the scrub python’s hunting style.
“The snake would never have been able to catch the wallaby in the open like where it was eating it,” Willemse told The Cairns Post. “It looked like it might have dropped out of a tree, got a hold [of the wallaby], then there was a bit of a struggle and it rolled into the middle of the fairway.”