What happens When A Python Tries To Swallow A Porcupine?

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Morenike Adebayo

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789 What happens When A Python Tries To Swallow A Porcupine?

A giant python (pictured above) was found lying dead by a cycle track. Its disastrous last meal was a 13.8kg (30lb) spiky porcupine, which seems to have punctured the snake from the inside.

The pictures below are quite gory; reader discretion is advised.


The python, nearly 4 meters long (about 12.5 feet), was found dead after apparently falling from a rocky shelf in Lake Eland Game Reserve, South Africa. The fall is believed to have forced more of the porcupine’s quills to puncture the snake’s digestive tract.

Redditor user BigDeadPixel, who posted the original photos in /r/snakes, has said that it “is still up for debate whether the porcupine was alive or dead when the snake found it, but the lack of external damage to the snake may indicate the porcupine was dead when the snake found it.”

The large snake corpse was reported to gamekeepers, who performed an autopsy to pluck out the porcupine from the snake. The insides of the snake had been pierced repeatedly by the porcupine’s quills.

“The exact reasons for the snake's death are not clear,” Reserve general manager Jennifer Fuller told the Independent. “It is apparent that several porcupine quills were lodged inside the digestive tract. It had fallen off the rocky ledge. We don't know if it died beforehand or whether the fall drove some of the quills into its digestive tract.”


  • tag
  • python,

  • porcupine,

  • south africa