A resident in Coogee returned home to an unexpected and hair-raising sight on the balcony of their third-story apartment — a massive python in the midst of devouring a ringtail possum.
This astonishing incident, revealing a diamond carpet python in the act, unfolded on Tuesday, 19 Dec 2023.
The visuals captured that day depict the diamond carpet python coiled around its prey, the ringtail possum. Slowly and deliberately, the snake began the intricate process of swallowing the possum, a creature roughly one-third of its size.
As the meal came to an end, the snake, now noticeably larger, opted for a leisurely respite on the apartment balcony, prompting the resident to summon a professional snake catcher.
Peter Khoury, a neighbour and the head of media at NRMA, shared his astonishment on social media. He expressed his shock at encountering such a sizable snake on a balcony situated several stories above the ground, particularly in Coogee’s densely populated eastern suburbs, where natural bushland is scant.
According to Mr Khoury, the possum had likely sought refuge by climbing a large tree in front of the apartment complex, with the python in relentless pursuit, leading to the eventual confrontation on the balcony.
The snake, having feasted so voraciously, found itself temporarily immobilised, prompting it to linger at the scene as it began the digestion process. Its reprieve was, however, interrupted by the arrival of snake catchers.
My neighbour came home today and found this on their balcony. Three floors up in Coogee! pic.twitter.com/ihjih1PRsa— Peter Khoury (@KhouryPete) December 19, 2023
Mr Khoury expressed his initial disbelief at the snake’s size.
“You’d think a snake that big would need a lot of shrub to grow, there’s a little bit of bush (in the area) but not that much,” he remarked.
The resident had just returned from a two-week country holiday.
Upon posting a video of the snake, Mr Khoury received a flood of reactions from shocked Australians, with some suggesting drastic measures such as relocating or even vacating the premises. One astute observer speculated that the snake must have been in a “desperate” situation to resort to such open hunting, likely driven by hunger.
Diamond carpet pythons, native to Australia’s southeastern regions, from the coast to the Blue Mountains, are generally non-venomous and seldom pose a threat to humans unless provoked. Their diet primarily consists of lizards, small mammals, and birds, but their bite, when provoked, can be formidable.