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Ximungwe 5:3 Female

Ximungwe 5:3 Female

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Chris Taylor

Ranger

Chris was born and raised in the Kwa-Zulu/Natal Midlands where his family inspired his early passion for the natural world. Exploring Southern Africa as he grew up, this passion was allowed to develop and his curiosity to expand. After high school, Chris spent ...

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13 Comments

on Rare African Python Raids a Starling Nest

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Vin Beni
Guest contributor

Had not previously heard any discussion of the African python on the property.

Chris Taylor
Ranger

Hi Vin, yes they are rarely seen, as most snakes tend to be rather secretive and scared of humans. Their camouflage also helps a great deal in keeping them hidden!

Wendy Hawkins
Senior Digital Ranger

Wow what an amazing sighting, a real double whammy! Python is my favourite snake, Leopard a fave cat. Thank you for sharing this awesome scene

Chelsea Allard
Digital Tracker

Such beautiful birds and a beautiful snake!

Chris Taylor
Ranger

The snakes markings are quite incredible!

Cally Staniland
Master Tracker

What an unusual sighting Chris! Interesting that they are now rare. When I was a child growing up in the Lowveld, my brother was very keen on capturing snakes and we had an array of captives around the house, some of which would escape from time to time and hide under sofas, in grandfather clocks etc. At the bottom of our property was the White River, which was more soap stone rock than River and it was a favorite place for snakes to sunbathe. My brother, together with some of our staff, managed to capture a sizeable Python one day and proceeded to carry him up to the house. By now my Mother had had quite enough of his hobby and promptly called the Parks Board who came to collect the python as even then, they were a protected species. Naturally my brother was devastated and the rest of the family…very relieved 😌

Francesca Doria
Master Tracker

Poor starlings, losing their chick’s so early and with no success. Absolutely stunning birds. Phytons are not often photographed it is quite a rare view, a different sight this time. The Ximungwe female is always a welcomed subject!

Mary Beth Wheeler
Guest contributor

Gruesome but Mother Nature in action. Quite a drive!

Bob and Lucie Fjeldstad
Guest contributor

Nice shots of the Python Chris. In all our trips to South Africa, the only Python we saw was one crossing the road. Prof and Kyle jumped out and gave chase but it moved into heavy undergrowth but not before Prof got good video on our iPhone But not as good a picture as the one in the beginning of your blog!

Christa Blessing
Master Tracker

What an exciting morning, Chris! I remember very well the python we saw nearly exactly one year ago devouring a spurfowl on the ground in the southwest of Londolozi near a waterhole.
Poor starling chicks and parents.

Valmai Vorster
Master Tracker

Wow Chris you had a good morning watching the rock python and then also seeing the Ximungwe female with a fresh kill. Shame I felt heartbroken for the Starling parents, knowing their chick’s are all gone. Beautiful python and it is mind boggling how they climb those trees and branches. Ximungwe female a gorgeous leopardess.

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Amazing Chris, talk about right place, right time and experience to have found this sighting. Good images of the python as well. Then, if the marauding python wasn’t enough, you also had the good fortune to view the Ximungwe female as well. Your guests must have been over the moon!

William Paynter
Digital Tracker

While snakes are not my favorite creatures they play an important ecological role. Glad the starlings will lay another clutch in the near future. Thanks for sharing Chris.

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