Two tourists expecting sun and surf on one of Western Australia’s popular beaches were instead treated to the image of a large venomous snake in the middle of swallowing an equally fat lizard.
Holly King and Sinead Hart posted photos of the scene on Facebook, igniting media coverage of a “horrifying” battle to the death on Little Beach at Two People’s Bay Nature Reserve near Albany.
“It’s not what you expect to see on a walk along the beach,” reported News.com.AU.
“Beachgoers were left stunned,” wrote PerthNow.com.
King identified the snake by as a dugite, a species that grows to 7 feet and is “very dangerous to humans” due to a “highly toxic venom,” according to AustralianMuseum.net.
The unlucky lizard was identified by media outlets as a king skink, which “deliver a painful bite,” says the Department of Conservation in Western Australia.
King, who lives in Albany, Australia, wrote on her Facebook page Monday that she came across the two animals fighting it out in the surf while she was “playing” with her camera on a morning walk.
“We both thought dugite straightaway when we saw it,” King said in a post. “He tried to get out of the water when it washed over him, but I think he was to focused on his (breakfast) to worry to much about the water.”
She estimated the snake was nearly 5 feet, but PerthNow estimated it at closer to 9 feet.
The Albany Advertiser posted video by Sinead Hart on Facebook Sunday, showing the snake dragging the lizard through the surf. The video has been viewed 65,000 times and generated more than 300 comments.
Reaction on social media has been largely disturbed at the idea that such large and potentially dangerous creatures were battling each other on a popular beach, with one person commenting “that lizard looks like a crocodile.”
“Yep, we never going there again!!” posted Melissa Fisher.