Thursday, February 28, 2008

Snake Stalks Dog

A five-metre python stalked a family dog for days before swallowing the pet whole in front of horrified children. The boy and girl, aged 5 and 7, watched as the scrub python devoured their silky terrier-chihuahua cross at their home near Cairns in Queensland Australia, on Monday night. Stuart Douglas, owner of the Australian Venom Zoo, said he went to the house straight away after being called by a lady "quite concerned about her dog being eaten by about a five, six metre scrub python." But the python had already "half consumed the dog" by the time he arrived, Douglas told Australian television. "The reason why it wasn't just released straight back into the wild is because, well it couldn't be released, there's a huge amount of food there and it could do quite an amount of damage to the snake, moving it," he said. The python was still digesting the dog on Wednesday at Douglas's zoo, but it was soon to be relocated back to the bush. Douglas said scrub pythons normally eat wild animals such as wallabies, a smaller relative of the kangaroo, but turn to pets in urban areas. "They used to be really, really common throughout north Queensland and they grew to a massive size and they used to feed upon wallabies in the plains, but basically they are all houses now and so there's only cats and dogs," he said. Douglas said the python actively stalked the dog for a number of days. He said the family that owned the dog had seen the python in the dog's bed three or four days earlier, which was a sure sign it was out to get it.

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