Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Australian Silky Survives Snake Attack

Owner tangles with 3m snake to save Tammy


May 26th, 2010

A BUSHLAND Beach woman has tangled with a 3m snake in a life-or-death tug-of-war to save her dog.

Goicoechea Drive resident Brenda van Bovene leapt to the defence of Tammy, her 11-year-old Australian Silky Terrier, after she heard the animal's desperate cries for help on Monday afternoon.

''I was in the study and Tammy was making this terrible noise,'' she said.

''I've heard it once before ... it's a horrible sound, a really bad stress signal, so I ran outside to investigate.''

What she found was the carpet python coiled around the dog.

''I'm only 5ft 1inch (155cm), and it looked twice as big as me - it was a huge snake,'' she said.

Despite being outsized, Mrs van Bovene grabbed the snake's tail and break the predator's hold.

''It was all a bit of a blur, I just did the first thing that came to mind,'' she said.

''I managed to grab the tail and start to pull in the opposite direction.

''The snake coiled tighter but eventually let go to (flee) beneath the barbecue.''

As the snake sheltered on the patio, Mrs van Bovene put Tammy in the house.

Meanwhile, her cries for help as she struggled with the serpent alerted neighbour Cameron Rowlands.

He was later joined by his father, Steve, and the pair caught the python.

Mrs van Bovene photographed the endeavour.

She said the would-be predator was caught, placed in a pillowcase and released in bushland at the Bohle.

''We didn't injure it at all, but thought it would be best to relocate it to a non-residential area,'' she said.

Tammy has been given a relatively clean bill of health by a vet but Mrs van Bovene yesterday placed her under ''house arrest''.

She warned an attack would occur again unless an effort was made to maintain grassed areas in the suburb.

''This was the 13th snake we've had in the past six to eight weeks,'' she said.

''All the (environment) conditions are the same as they were last year when we saw none, except for the state of the grass.

''Something needs to be done by residents, or if they won't, council, and they can send them the bill.

''A snake (as big as that which attacked Tammy) could easily do the same to an infant.''

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