British Woman Saves Dog Poppy from 14 Foot Python in Hong Kong

 |  Sep 17th 2007  |   0 Contributions


poppy.jpg

What a great furmom!

Thanks to the Telegraph for this article.

Woman saves dog from python in Hong Kong
By Simon Parry in Hong Kong

A British woman fought with a 14ft (4.5 metre) Burmese python to save her pet dog from being crushed to death on a walking trail in Hong Kong.


Expatriate Catherine Leonard, 41, kicked and punched the snake after seeing it wrap itself around her pet dog, a 20 kg mongrel called Poppy, near her home in the former British colony.

Ms Leonard was walking Poppy and two other dogs on a trail close to a family picnic area in Hong Kongs rural New Territories last Sunday when the python pounced on Poppy, biting her and coiling itself around her.

After hearing what she described as a yelping that was like a scream", Ms Leonard, a keen runner who organises amateur marathons, dashed to free the four-year-old dog, kicking and grappling with the snake.

Im not sure exactly what I did but 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. It was all over in about a minute.

I was very shaken afterwards and really scared. If Id had the chance to think about it, I wouldnt have done what I did, but I hear the dog in distress and I just waded in there.

I knew that if I didnt do anything the snake would get her, because I knew what had happened to the husky last year."

The attack happened on the same stretch of path where in July last year a 22 kg husky, owned by a 32-year-old South African expatriate, was crushed to death in front of her owner by a python.

Warning signs were posted up by officials after the incident but Ms Leonard said she believed the python should, if possible, be captured and relocated.

That snake means business," she said.

There are a lot of these pythons about but this one is quite territorial and quite prepared to attack.

Burmese pythons can grow to six metres long
These two attacks have both been close to the family walk and people do go out hiking with four children. A small child would weigh less than my dog."

Police and a local snake catcher, Briton Dave Willott, searched for the python after the attack without success.

Mr Willott said: Catherine was very courageous and definitely saved her dogs life. It would have been unconscious within two minutes and dead within five minutes.

Pythons can strike fast. They usually go for the head and dog will usually try to smell a snake and stick its nose at it which is the perfect opportunity for the snake to grab the head.

In this case, the snake probably thought 'Ive had enough of this' and let go which is unusual. They are used to their prey fighting back so if they are attacked when theyre in a feeding frenzy they grab hold and coil around tighter and tighter."

Mr Willott, who captures and snakes and releases them in safer areas, added: You cant be certain it is the same python that killed the husky last year. It could well be and possibly is but I am sure there is more than one big python in that area."

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