When Corinne Le Gall heard a small rustling noise during her morning walk through Booderee National Park, she never could have imagined what was occurring in the bushland just metres from her feet.
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The Shoalhaven photographer assumed it was a small bird or mammal and continued on her walk to the beach, however, upon her return the rustling was louder, and sounded more intense.
It was at this point Corinne saw the back end of a red belly black snake emerge from the bushes, and her adrenaline started pumping.
She knew there was something unusual about the encounter.
And she was right. As she moved closer, she discovered that one red belly back snake was eating another red belly.
“I was shaking a fair bit with the adrenaline that was coursing through me, at the luck that had just landed at my feet,” she said.
“At the time I was thinking how blessed and lucky that I was, as I was the only one witnessing this spectacle.”
Over the next hour, Corinne watched on with her camera, as the larger snake took hold of it’s prey, biting and strangling it, until it eventually devoured the smaller snake.
“I felt excitement, sorrow, luck, awe, questioning,” she said.
“[I wondered if I] should I do something to intervene - a lot of emotions.”
As time went on, Corinne realised what she was witnessing was just a part of nature, and something that probably happened quite often.
“The more violent the fighting became, the more I felt sorry for the prey,” she said.
“But as time went on, I resigned myself to the fact that this is nature. This kind of behaviour must happen quite often as even snakes need to eat and I just followed them around to get the best angle.”
After documenting the interaction, Corinne went home to look at the photos on her computer, and she was stunned by what she saw.
“I couldn’t really believe what I had captured with such clarity,” she said.
“My eyes are not the best, so looking at something as gruesome on a big screen as opposed to the small screen at the back of the camera, really made me realise that I had indeed captured a rarity.”
No matter what she searched, Corinne said she couldn’t find any photos that showed the true violence and aggression of the situation.
“No matter what words I put together to search on the internet, I was unable to find any photos like mine where the head of the prey was being crushed by the aggressor, where the prey was doing all he could in his power to escape, where blood was showing where bites had been effected,” she said.
Since posting the photos on her Facebook page, Corinne has had more than 1200 likes, as well as interest from several herpetological societies.
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