A python swallowed a house cat and kittens where they slept in Australia.
Snake catcher Tiarnah Kingaby was called to a property in Waterford, south of Brisbane, to remove the reptile.
A woman found the python near where her cats and kittens normally slept, but the cats were nowhere to be found. The snake appeared to have prey bulging in its stomach, which means it had recently fed.
“Yeah, those are more than likely the customers’ cats,” said Josh Castle, owner of snake removal service Josh’s Snake Catching and Relocation. Newsweek, referring to the bulge of the snake’s stomach. “[The homeowner] called this morning to say her cats were missing.”
A photo shows Kingaby holding the python after removing it from the property. In the middle of its body, a huge bulge can be seen. The snake was removed from the property and released in a safe area away from the public.
Snake season in Australia is currently in full swing. Snakes are more active in the hotter summer months because they are cold blooded. It is not uncommon for snakes to creep into residential areas. They will often be drawn to these areas in search of prey or shelter.
Pythons eat a wide variety of prey and usually feast on small rodents, mammals or lizards.
Pythons are common in Brisbane. The snakes are non-venomous and kill their prey by constriction. They will swallow their prey whole and slowly digest it over a few days.
The photo was posted on the Brisbane North Snake Catcher Facebook page.
“I love pythons but this is heartbreaking. I would be devastated,” said one social media user.
“Bloody beautiful python and for cat owners another reason to keep cats indoors and not roam the neighborhood,” another Facebook user said.
Another social media user said it would be “a horrible way to die for any prey”.
“There is something truly awful about these particular snakes,” the comment read.
Kingaby, responding to the comment, said that in this particular area, it is illegal for cats to roam freely without being confined to an outdoor escape-proof enclosure or inside the house.
“There’s nothing horrible about these snakes – they’re beautiful, misunderstood native animals, and they have far more right to be here than any cat. Cats need to be confined to themselves. protect themselves and our natives,” Kingaby said in response. “Unfortunately, that’s the risk you take in deciding not to confine your animals appropriately.”
Kingaby said that snakes do not distinguish “moral good from moral evil”.
“They just don’t have the ability to think ‘hey I shouldn’t be eating this, it’s someone’s pet,'” Kingaby said in a Facebook comment. “No matter what anyone thinks is right or wrong, it’s a risk you take when you house animals where snakes live and have always lived.”
Do you have an animal or nature story to share with Newsweek? Have a question about snakes? Let us know via [email protected]