Big snake fights smaller python for its meal, then eats python

MULGOWIE, Australia -- A python in Australia had a bad run of luck after a larger snake came along and stole the python's meal, but not before eating the python itself.

Jessica Mace found the two snakes literally tangled in a brawl in her shed in Mulgowie, Australia, a city about 60 miles west of Brisbane. She noticed the larger snake, an eastern brown snake, slithering on a beam near a rat's nest 16 feet off the ground. The eastern brown dropped down from the beam, and Mace saw that it had the python, which was itself wrapped around a rat, in its mouth.

Once on the ground, the python let go of the rat -- but the eastern brown snake wasn't after just the rat. Mace said it fought with the python, which was wrapped around its head, for 30 minutes.

The python did manage to break free at one point but had already been envenomated. It fought back but "didn't last much longer and was ultimately eaten," according to Mace's account as it was relayed by a local snake catcher.

Still hungry, the eastern brown then feasted on the unlucky rat that had apparently started it all.

The eastern brown snake (Pseudonaja textilis) usually grows to approximately five feet long. It's a formidable opponent, even for a human: Australian Geographic ranked the eastern brown as the country's most dangerous snake in 2012, writing that it is responsible for more deaths in Australia than any other snake species.

"Not only is their venom ranked as the second most toxic of any land snake in the world (based on tests on mice), they thrive in populated areas, particularly on farms in rural areas with mice," the outlet explained.

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