Snakes tar­get Cairns cats

Townsville Bulletin - - News -

SNAKES, not cu­rios­ity, are killing cats in Cairns. In the past five weeks, scrub pythons have de­voured nine cats in Cairns back yards. Cairns snake catcher David Wal­ton said there was usu­ally only one cat death a month from snakes. ‘‘ They’ll bite and grab the cat and quickly in­ter­twine the an­i­mal and squeeze and suf­fo­cate . . . un­til they sense there is no more heart beat,’’ he said. ‘‘ Then they let go and swal­low it. It would be quite trau­ma­tis­ing for the own­ers as well to see the fam­ily pet be­ing eaten like that. It’s not the poor python’s fault, he’s just do­ing what he thinks is right to sur­vive.’’ He said the ex­treme wet sea­son could be to blame for the in­crease in snake at­tacks on cats. Mr Wal­ton said the scrub pythons tak­ing the cats were usu­ally longer than 3m. He said res­i­dents had to take pre­cau­tions to pro­tect their pets. ‘‘ We have to learn to live with them, they’ve been here well be­fore us,’’ he said.

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