Some called it the Outback Uber – 10 cane toads have been caught riding a python.
Paul Mock, of Kununurra in the far north of Western Australia, filmed the bizarre sight after a heavy thunderstorm on Sunday night.
The animals were trying to escape an overflowing dam on the Mocks’ property when the toads came up with the novel form of transport.
Mr Mock sent the images to his brother Andrew, who then posted them online.
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Mock explains he had ventured out after a bad thunderstorm that dropped close to 7cm (2.7in) of rain on Kununurra in the space of an hour.
“I went out and the lake had overflowed,” he says, and realised the toads, who nested around its edge, were fleeing the rising waters.
“Thousands of toads were all trying to find somewhere to go,” he says. “And then I saw Monty our local python with a bunch of hitchhikers on his back.”
You might also like:
- The alternative end-of-the-year awards
- Huge bald eagle lands on fans
- Weasel rides on woodpecker’s back
The snake, which stretches to a length of 3.5m (11ft 4in), is a regular on Mr Mock’s property.
“Monty’s well known to us,” he says. “He hangs around back of our pool and scares my wife when she’s hanging up our washing.”
And the python seems smart enough not to have tried to eat his passengers – cane toads carry a deadly toxin which can threaten even larger species like snakes, lizards and crocodiles.
While online some were horrified or even suggested the photo was staged, most jumped at the chance to make jokes.
However, there were also suggestions the cane toad’s actions were not so innocent.
Conservation biologist Jodi Rowley tweeted that the amphibians were trying to mate with Monty.
Ms Rowley posted that the males can get “a bit carried away”.
Incoming search terms:
- cane toad python
- toads riding python