In the wild, the python does not have many enemies. A predator itself, it eats animals ranging from birds to goats to pigs. The python can capture, kill and eat an animal several times its own size. Though it is not without natural enemies in its natural habitats in Asia, the python has been introduced to places such as the Florida Everglades, where the animals that normally eat a python are not present.
Large birds such as eagles can capture a python. The python is not a fast-moving species, in particular after a big meal. Since it captures its prey by hiding among tree branches and leaping on it, there are opportunities for predators to capture it.
The python lives in an aquatic habitat, and when swimming it is vulnerable to crocodiles. While younger specimens can be captured and eaten by a crocodile of any size, the older a python gets, the larger it becomes. A large python can be captured and eaten only by a large crocodile.
Lions, Tigers and Pumas
Large cats like lions, tigers and pumas, which are present in the natural habitats of the python, can capture and eat the snakes. Since the python is not poisonous, it is a matter of the predator being able to avoid being enveloped by the python, in which case the constriction of the snake may literally squeeze the life out of the predator.
Cobras can eat young pythons. Other snakes are also predators on the young animals and will eat the eggs when they can. Older pythons are not threatened by other snakes because of their size.
Humans are the most active predator of pythons, often killing the animal for its skin, but also for the meat. Captured pythons are often skinned alive and left to die. In areas where the python have been introduced, such as the Everglades, humans are the only active predator of the python, but they rarely eat it.
A former journalist and magazine editor since 1984, Johan Hjelm is now an independent writer. He has written 15 books, contributed to "Data Communications" and was editor-in-chief of "Nätvärlden." Hjelm has a certificate in journalism from Poppius School of Journalism, and has studied at Uppsala University in Sweden and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.