March 16, 2009

Python swallows 12.8-pound dog

An Australian woman said a python slithered onto her property and swallowed her 12.8-pound dog.

Patty Buntine said she became concerned Wednesday when her Maltese terrier mix, Bindi, did not show up for breakfast at 7 a.m. in her Katherine, Australia, home, the Northern Territory News reported Monday.

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, she said.

Snake catcher David Reed of Reedy's Reptiles came to Buntine's home to collect the reptile.

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, Reed wrote on his Web site, www.reedysreptiles.com.

He said that by swallowing Bindi, the snake had consumed 60 percent of its body weight. He said the reptile was still digesting its meal nearly a week after the incident.