A cannibal snake has been filmed eating another snake of the same species. The small-eyed snake was discovered by Toowoomba Snake Catchers 24/7 after they were called out to a worried resident.
David Weidman, owner of the snake-catching company, said that he instantly knew something was amiss about the situation as soon as he arrived on the scene. He told Brisbane Times: "When I got there, I saw it and I thought, 'Something is a bit strange here'. It had two tails and I thought 'hang on', then I looked a bit closer and I saw one was eating another one, and I couldn't miss the opportunity to film it."
Usually found in Queensland, Australia, the small-eyed snake is extremely dangerous with a myotoxic venom that causes paralysis. The species has previously been reported as cannibalistic, and the snake that was being consumed would have endured a slow and painful death, lasting around 15 minutes.
Weidman said: "Its tail was still wriggling as it was getting down to the end. The snake is immune to its own venom, so it would have killed it by digesting it." Weidman also said that he had been catching snakes for 10 years, and this is only the second time he's managed to spot a snake eating another.
Snakes usually throw up their half-eaten food when they are disturbed. In this case, the black venous serpent must have been extremely famished to carry on despite the human attention it was getting. "It was probably just hungry. They do eat their own kind but mainly it is frogs and small reptiles, but if the opportunity arises and there is a snake there that is smaller than it they will eat it," added Weidman.
Small-eyed snakes can grow up to a metre in length, and the species has been the cause of one reported human death.