The incident happened in Nigeria where local media said the snake had been killed over accusations it had been feasting on farmers’ livestock.
However as these images show, the snake was not overweight because of its last meal, it was actually pregnant. After being cut open, dozens of eggs were found and removed by locals who regard them as a rare delicacy.
Although it was not clear what sort of snake it was, many snakes can produce up to 100 eggs at a time.
Judging by the size of the snake, which appears to be almost a foot wide and several metres long, it looks like an anaconda. But with the species of anaconda restricted to South America, it is likely the pictured snake is an African rock python. Males are typically smaller than females, who can grow up to and beyond 4.8m in length.
There have been some reports of African rock pythons, which is the continent’s biggest snake and one of the world’s largest, growing up to a massive 6m in length. Less reliable sources from back in the 1950s claim one 7m pregnant python was killed with a 1.5m infant inside it and a second beast – measuring 7.5m – was also shot dead.
Like all pythons, the African rock python is non-venomous and kills its prey by constriction. After gripping the prey, the snake coils around it, tightening its coils every time the victim breathes out. Death is thought to be caused by cardiac arrest rather than by asphyxiation or crushing.The African rock python feeds on a variety of large rodents, monkeys, warthog, antelopes, fruit bats, monitor lizards and even crocodiles in forest areas, and on rats, poultry, dogs and goats in suburban areas.
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