A Dutch tourist holidaying at a Kenyan safari camp run by a British couple has captured ultra-rare footage of a python swallowing a fully-grown adult hyena recorded in Kenya.
Web designer Jos Bakker, posted his video, recorded on March 1 in the Masai Mara game reserve to YouTube.
After the tourist and his guide told researchers at Fisi Camp what they had seen, research assistants Mike Kowalski and Olivia Spagnuolo rushed to the scene to see if they could find the snake and confirm what the tourists had seen.
The researchers found the snake and confirmed to their surprise that Bakker’s account was accurate.
Describing the incident to National Geographic, Kowalski explained the kill was highly unusual because it’s rare for pythons to attack large animals bearing jaws that could easily crush the snake’s skull.
“To my knowledge there has been no precedent for this in terms of documentation,” Kowalski told National Geographic.
“Large carnivores can certainly interact with large pythons, as their cubs are probably on the menu, but an adult lion or leopard or hyena would likely dispatch the python very quickly.
“For the hyena, I would say this rock python had to be perfect,” Kowalski said. “If it did not immediately strike and coil the neck-chest region to immobilize the head, the hyena could’ve easily crushed the python’s skull.”
– Mike Kowalski
The researchers said the python likely ambushed the hyena while it searched for a resting spot in a drainage area.
Fisi Camp was opened in October 2013. It is owned and managed by husband and wife team, Ken and Marie.
Ken, who is Irish and Marie who is English, were living and working in Dublin as professional photographers before moving out here to the Mara to build a tented camp.
They chose the site for the view it affords, and the camp blends perfectly into the surrounding bush, having been built using local materials, local craftsmen and labour..
“We were attracted to the famous Masai Mara by our passion for wildlife photography, and the abundance of wildlife that the Mara has to offer. Our vision was to build a camp that looks as though it belongs to the wild, a camp that was comfortable, friendly, with good food. Most importantly affordable to people from all over the world with an interest in wildlife and photography, so we could share our enthusiasm for this amazing place and all the animals that live here. It is our aim to make all our visitors feel at home and relaxed making their stay with us a truly memorable one”
You can find more information about staying at Fisi Camp by visiting the website.