"When I got closer I could see it was a sand python hanging out of its mouth," said the man who took the photo.
A refrigeration mechanic from outback northern Australia named Andrew Gertz snapped rare pictures of a cow sucking on the head of a large sand python in its mouth.
Gertz, a native of Camooweal, northern Queensland, shared that he was driving along the deserted Sandover Highway, about 300 kilometers away from the Lake Nash Station of the Northern Territory, when he chanced upon the bizarre scene by the roadside.
He originally thought the cow was munching on a bone, as cattle are known to chew on carcasses in the area. It wasn’t until he moved closer that he realized it was actually a snake hanging from the cow’s mouth.
“When I got closer I could see it was a sand python hanging out of its mouth,” he said.
According to Gertz, the cow didn’t seem fazed with its unusual meal or his presence, even as he started taking photos. In the end, it merely dropped the dead snake and walked away.
So how exactly did the non-venomous sand python end in the cow’s mouth? Gertz simply made speculations. He said that the cow may have disturbed the snake, causing it to latch on its tongue.
On the other hand, Angus Emmott, a natural historian and cattle grazier from Western Queensland, shared that cattle feed on dead kangaroos and even dead cattle. He said this is a way for them to supplement their diets, particularly in outback Queensland.
“Their body tells them what they need and they’ll go and chase it down if it’s available,” Emmott said.
However, even to him, sucking on a python seems unusual for a cow.
“I have never seen one chew a snake.”Angus Emmott, a local cattle grazier and natural historian, said.
Despite that, he concluded that the cow may have been trying to supplement its diet and chewed on the snake “for both protein and trace elements.”
RaynerAG, an independent consultant and trainer in the agricultural industry, explained the phenomenon by saying that the cow was trying to compensate for phosphorous deficiency, which is clear in the photographed cow’s lower body conditions.
His explanation was detailed in a Facebook post which read:
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