KATHERINE, Australia, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- A ranger at a national park in Australia's Northern Territory captured photographs of a python stretching itself to the maximum to swallow a whole wallaby.
Paul O'Neill, a ranger at Nitmiluk National Park, near Katherine, said he discovered the olive python with the wallaby joey in its grip Monday near the park's visitor center, and he started taking pictures.
O'Neill took photos for about 30 minutes as the snake coiled around the wallaby and eventually swallowed it whole.
"That is about the biggest prey item it could eat," said reptile expert Greg Smith of the Territory Wildlife Park. "That wallaby would take about 5 to 7 days to digest completely, and the snake would go and hide for at least a month."
Smith said the pictures show the snake was stretched to its maximum capacity by the hearty meal.
"The snake was fully expanded, it was at its maximum. You can't see belly scales in the picture, you can see the skin between the scales because it was so stretched. It was almost white," he told The Guardian Australia.