A series of captivating photographs has captured a remarkable friendship between two iconic Australian animals. The unusual pair consists of a three-metre coastal carpet python and an adult lace monitor, also known as a tree goanna. The friendship was first observed on Saskia Kouwenberg’s verandah near Nimbin, in northern NSW. The python, named Kuia, has been visiting Saskia’s home every winter for the past four years, while the goanna joined the friendship more recently.
The goanna had suffered severe injuries when it first arrived at Saskia’s home two years ago. It had two wounds where its thumbs had been ripped off, possibly by chicken wire. Saskia named the goanna “The One Who Walks Slowly” due to its difficulty in walking. Thanks to the care provided by Saskia and assistance from WIRES, the goanna’s wounds were treated and it eventually recovered. This year, the goanna and python were reunited once again.
Saskia captured photos of the pair basking in the sun, just a few centimetres away from each other. Although they were only able to spend one day together this year, their peaceful coexistence was evident. The goanna hesitated to pass the python, not wanting to harm it with its sharp claws. Eventually, the python moved out of the goanna’s path.
The Operations Manager, Billy Collett, mentioned that it is uncommon to see a python and goanna basking together. However, similar situations have been observed in the wild with snakes and lizards. He also mentioned that the chances of them eating each other are slim due to their size difference.
The photos of the unlikely friendship amazed many people on social media. The story garnered a large response with users commenting on the beauty and uniqueness of their bond. Some even humorously referenced the cannabis culture in Nimbin when joking about the chilled attitude of the pair.
This heartwarming friendship between the python and goanna showcases the incredible nature of wildlife and their ability to form unexpected connections.