by Amber Macpherson
TONY Karu couldn't believe his eyes when he saw what he thought tapped him on the head while he was gardening one afternoon.
Mr Karu was in his backyard at his Black Mountain property earlier this month when he heard a rustle from above, quickly followed by a thud.
"I was attending my garden, when something fell from above,” he said.
"I was underneath a palm tree, and I did get a little hit from something.
"I regained my composure and I looked and I couldn't believe what I saw - a giant python.”
Not only a giant python, but a giant python in the middle of lunch - a possum.
"What had happened was, he had captured a full-sized possum and it (the snake) fell with a possum,” Mr Karu said.
"(The snake) was 6ft or about 2m long. It fell with the possum, and the possum was four or five times wider than it was.
"It didn't take too long to kill the possum, it suffocated it. It was pretty horrid.”
Despite Mr Karu's shock, he managed to photograph the event.
"It devoured it in 20 minutes,” he said.
"It (the snake) wasn't as wide as the possum was afterwards when it ate it. It was very strange.
"I was in between two worlds, aghast and fascinated.
"I photographed it from start to finish.
"I lost a few nights sleep thinking about it later.”
After the possum was swallowed, Mr Karu decided he needed to recollect himself with a cuppa.
"I went inside, put on a cup of tea,” he said.
"After five minutes I went outside - and it was gone.
"It broke off three branches from my frangipani tree on its way down. I wasn't sure if it was the branches or the python tail that hit me.
"I've been in the bush
for years and years and
I've never seen anything
like it. I'm still staggered
as to how this thing swallowed it.”
While Mr Karu won't be forgetting this brush with nature any time soon, he said he was no stranger to rare events involving creatures.
He claims he saw a Tasmanian tiger in bush 50 years ago near Newcastle, New South Wales, long after the animal was declared extinct.