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16.03.2009 International

Terrier Alert: Python Swallows Pet Dog

By Sky News
Terrier Alert: Python Swallows Pet DogTerrier Alert: Python Swallows Pet Dog

A distraught woman has told how a python devoured her pet dog - including the collar and name tag.

Patty Buntine became worried when her Maltese terrier-cross Bindi failed to show up for breakfast at her home in Australia's Northern Territory.

"She was always there so I got worried and went to look for her," she said.

"I went around the side of the house and that's when I found the snake. It couldn't move and had its head up in a striking position.

"It's belly was bulging - it looked like a great big coconut was inside it. I knew straight away that it had ate Bindi.

"I felt terrible - it's not very nice at all to think my little dog went that way."

She told the Northern Territory News that three-year-old Bindi was a lively and agile dog - and was shocked the reptile managed to strike her.

"She was a little smarty pants and would race away if she knew you were going to bath her or take her to the vet or something," she added.

"She was always darting all over the place. I don't know how she didn't realise this thing was creeping up on her."

She called expert David Reed from Reedy's Reptiles to collect the snake.

He said: "I've had a lot of calls about dogs that have been bitten by snakes, and I have even had an olive python that had eaten some new-born puppies, but never one like this.

"The maltese terrier was 5.8kg, and the combined weight of the olive python and the dog is a whopping 16kg.

"Therefore, theoretically the weight of the snake is around 10kg, meaning that the olive has consumed 60% of its body weight in a single meal.

"It really is amazing - it's equivalent to a 100kg man eating a 60kg steak, or an average 16-year-old teenage male."

Mr Reed said the snake was still digesting its meal a week later.