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Hong Kong woman fights off giant python

 

Sun Sep 16, 1:50 AM ET

A woman threw herself into battle with a giant snake after it tried to strangle her pet dog to death, a Hong Kong newspaper reported Sunday.

Catherine Leonard was walking in a country park when the 4.5-metre (15-foot) long Burmese python attacked her beloved Poppy.

Leonard, 41, rushed to the rescue, grappling with the huge snake as one of her other dogs barked furiously in alarm, the South China Morning Post reported.

“I kicked it and I tried to pull Poppy free. The snake was twisted around her, that was the problem,” she said. “Somehow Poppy managed to get away and the python slithered away.

“I was very shaken afterwards and really scared. If I’d had the chance to think about it, I wouldn’t have done what I did, but I heard the dog in distress and I just waded in there.”

The attack on four-year-old Poppy took place in Sai Kung country park, close to where a 22-kilogramme husky dog was crushed to death by a snake last year when the owner’s similar rescue attempt was unsuccessful.

A python caught and ate a calf in the park last month.

“Catherine was very courageous and definitely saved her dog’s life,” professional snake catcher Dave Willott said. “It would have been unconscious within two minutes and dead within five.

“The snake probably thought, ‘I’ve had enough of this’ and let go, which was unusual. They usually don’t let go, not when they’ve locked onto their prey.”

Burmese pythons are one of the world’s largest snakes and can grow to six metres long and weigh over 100 kilos.

Willott advised anyone tempted to rescue a dog being crushed by a python to “start at the tail and get the coils off the dog and leave the head until last.”

 

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