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Aussie Carpet Python Swallows Dog Chained In Backyard

March 14, 2014

Lesson be learned. If you live in a rural area of New South Wales, Australia, do not chain your small dog outside as it may become the victim of a hungry python. This is exactly what happened March 13 to a woman's Chihuahua-Maltese mix. The woman had her dog chained up next to the dog house and went out to free it so it could run around, but instead of finding her dog, she found a large carpet python (Morelia spilota) with the dog's chain protruding from its mouth. The dog's owner called area wildlife experts who came out and cut the chain from the snake's mouth.

"She realized that she had made a dreadful mistake. She hadn't thought about the possibility of a snake taking the dog," Sue Ulyatt with the Northern Rivers Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service told the Sydney Morning Herald. "The lady went out to let the dog off the chain, but instead of the dog being on the chain, it was a large carpet python. It's only the second incident like this we've had in over 10 years. Usually it's the other way around; the snake comes off second best."

The 2.5 meter snake was kept for observation to see if it would regurgitate the chain. It didn't so it was taken to a veterinarian at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary to determine if surgery would be required on the snake. Ulyatt said if the snake does need surgery, it will be cared for until it can be released back into the wild.

Ulyatt said that the woman was doing the right think in chaining up her dog at night, but this particular dog was too small and should have been inside the house. The area in which the woman lived is known for its abundance of carpet pythons.

Carpet pythons are popular pet snakes in Australia due to their mild disposition. The snake can grow to about 8 feet in length and can live more than 20 years. These snakes are also available in the United States pet trade.

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