KT Day 3: Olive Python eats Fruit Bat

In the early hours of the morning, before we were up, a young and rather small Olive Python snaked her way up a tree in the Nitmiluk NP campsite, and caught a fruit bat. When I saw her she was being mobbed by greedy ravens intent on stealing her meal, and possibly even eating her too. I chased them off … a ranger appeared and agreed that the ravens would damage the python if they could.

She has her catch and is beginning the task of loosening her jaws to swallow the rather awkwardly shaped bat.

Olive turns her head upside down to begin with. I think she is relieved that by now a group of campers have gathered around her and are keeping the pecking ravens at bay.

Are wondering how she will manage those big spikey wings? I was not watching when she did it …. but when I went back, it was all done. Would you like a little break from python dining? …… here is the campsite at Katherine Gorge ….

Pleasantly bushy with shady trees, a great swimming pool, excellent facilities, all in an indigenously owned and run park … great!

This is us, very basic but practical for the Gibb River Road which lies ahead in Western Australia.

Notice how Olive has squeezed the bat very tightly, an important part of bringing the meal inside her body where it can be slowly digested.

And now she has ingested the bat, whose wings stick out rather painfully from a different angle … and you can see the the ravens have been back to attack her … there are several bloody spots. What a hazardous life for a python! Soon after this photo she would begin to move back to a sheltered place, and we would be on the road to Kununurra, over 500 km away to the west. Last photo for this post, moonrise over the mini Bungle Bungles at Kununurra.

Loads more day three fun to share later.

 

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22 thoughts on “KT Day 3: Olive Python eats Fruit Bat

  1. What a ride this post was… and I’m feeling very brave for even viewing it! The G.O. looked enviously at your camper… oh yes… wish we were there πŸ™‚

  2. This was one of the most fascinating Australian camping posts I HAVE EVER READ.
    Wow! Your photos are so good it felt as though I was watching a movie!
    How did you get so close to the snake? isn’t it dangerous? Was the bat alive when it was being swallowed?
    I love your camper van. Did you guys build it yourself or is that how they’re sold in Oz?
    Mr F and I really want to visit Australia – can we go camping with you guys?

  3. Wow, your post blew me away! that is one big bat! I live in Oregon and fruit bats here are only as big as a mouse. That bat looks like a vampire bat. It’s head looks as big as a cat’s. Great photos too! Thanks!

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