An adorable kitten is lucky to be alive after her owner saved her from the grasp of a two-and-a-half-metre python.
Nick Kearns, from just outside Kununurra in Western Australia, awoke to the sound of his partner Karyn’s screams in the early hours of the morning last week.
He leapt out of bed naked and followed the sound of the screams to his back garden, where he discovered the ginormous reptile had coiled itself around one of their kittens, named Lil.
‘When I first saw the snake coiled around the kitten, I didn’t think I’d have much time,’ Nick told UNILAD. ‘I first picked up the whole snake and Lil was trying to back out and kicking pretty frantically, but was starting to kick less and less. I was trying to uncoil it and my partner Karyn was holding the tail out, but the snake just wouldn’t let go.’
With not a lot of time to spare, Nick managed to find the centre of the coil, where Lil’s head would have been, and grabbed onto the kitten. Fortunately, the python recoiled, but when Nick relaxed his grip, the snake bit his right hand.
He added: ‘The snake had her by the chin and there was no way it was letting go. Lil had a bit of a chunk missing from here cheek and we doused it with Betadine and she’s fine now.’
‘Lil spends most of her time chasing butterflies and crickets,’ Nick added. ‘She interestingly won’t go into the garden where it happened but she has quite a few other areas to hang out in. She’s also pretty scared of my belt and anything that is long and skinny.’
Fortunately, Nick’s hand has also made a full recovery, although he says most of his hand injuries came from the fact he fell over twice while rushing to get to the snake.
‘I had just woken up. That’s my excuse,’ he said. ‘I actually didn’t realise until after it had all happened. I had to wear shorts and thongs for a week. ‘
No doubt Nick and Karyn’s quick thinking saved their feline from what could have otherwise been an unfortunate fate.
While Nick has previously done snake handling courses, he said they don’t actually show you what to do in the instance of a snake getting hold of a pet.
‘The training shows you how to pick up and store a snake for relocation and utilises a hook and grabber,’ he explained. ‘It doesn’t hurt the snake at all, and of course I relocated this one to a nice place – but at least seven kilometres from our place.’
Nick and Karyn are no strangers to seeing big snakes in their own garden, and they regularly find themselves relocating reptiles that have made their way into the garden to say hello.
‘Now I do a bit of a patrol each morning and of course they don’t get to roam around when it’s dark anyway,’ he said. ‘There’s also a risk of birds getting them – eagles and hawks – but we’ve been relatively lucky so far.’
Here’s to hoping Lil stays out of danger from now on.
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