The python was seen with a full stomach but days after, it was found dead and was discovered to have swallowed a huge porcupine.
A mountain biker took photos of a python with a full belly on June 14 at the Lake Eland Game Reserve in a coastal part of KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa, but on June 20, the snake was found dead.
Rangers at the game preserve opened and autopsied the python, discovering that it consumed a 32-inch, 30-pound porcupine. But it is not unusual for a snake to swallow a porcupine.
“The porcupine did not injure the snake at all and eating the porcupine should not have caused the snake to die,” said Jennifer Fuller, general manager of Lake Eland Game Reserve, The Huffington Post reported. “The real cause of death is unknown.”
However, according to a study published in 2003 at the Phyllomedusa Journal of Herpetology, a porcupine’s quills can pierce all the way through a hungry snake’s body.