A massive python devours a full size goat after sneaking into the village of Garkhuta in West Bengal, India – and the astonishing feat of digestion was caught on camera near Sonakhali Reserve Forest by photographer Roni Choudhury.
The giant snake, estimated to be up to 10ft long, can be seen steadily stretching its mouth around the goat’s lifeless body.
‘I was walking around the Sonakhali Reserve Forest and, after I entered the village of Garkhuta, I heard noises,’ recalls Roni.
‘The moment I rushed towards the spot, I saw a huge python was eating the goat. It was one of the most spectacular moments I’ve ever witnessed.’
The domestic goat’s death captured the attention of villagers, with a crowd of onlookers quickly gathering around to watch the feast unfold.
Roni says, ‘The python would be around 9-10ft long and it looked young. I was there for more than an hour and later I heard from the villagers that the python finished the goat in around four hours.’
It remained unclear quite how the giant snake nabbed the goat in the first place, but eyewitnesses said the python continued devouring its prey despite the crowd’s presence.
A local villager said: ‘It did not seem to be bothered. The python left for the forest after he finished swallowing the goat. It slowly crawled into the grassy bushes nearby.’
The incident is believed to be the first of its kind in the village but has led to concerns among snake experts.
They say that excessive deforestation in the Jalpaiguri Forest Reserve by the local timber mafia is leading to a grave imbalance in local ecological systems.
Vidyut Sarkar, the District Forest Officer, says: ‘It is a rare incident. This is the first time that I’ve seen something like this.
‘It would still have been acceptable had this happened inside the forest range or had the python caught a deer or something. But a python strike inside the village is an alarming sign.
‘If the python caught a goat, it could very easily kill a man or a child.’