Nelia Scheepers was shaken from her sleep when she heard her 10-year-old dog Goofy “squeaking” in agony. The source of the sound shocked her: Scheepers’ beloved pet had been snatched from her bed and was being crushed‚ devoured and suffocated by a 3.5m-long‚ 50kg python.
Scheepers‚ who lives alone on a remote farm in Louis Trichardt‚ Limpopo‚ described how she raced from the room with her other dogs‚ helpless to do anything to save the stricken dog. When the 60-year-old later looked into the room‚ the python had “unlocked its jaws and was swallowing Goofy whole”‚ she said from her home.
The bulge of the ingested medium-sized mongrel could clearly be seen in the python when snake catcher Frikkie Venter arrived to retrieve it from Scheepers’ farmhouse some hours later on January 29.
“That snake won’t have to eat for another three weeks now‚” Venter revealed. “It is unusual for pythons to go anywhere near human dwellings‚ but it was obviously very hungry. Summer temperatures are also very high and its normal food sources are now harder to catch. It may also have been looking for shade.”
The grandmother had spotted the massive African rock python on her verandah a few hours before the dog was taken. She shut all her doors and windows‚ apart from a small louvre window in her lounge.
“Goofy had very good hearing and would normally be the first to start barking at the sound of any trouble. She was sleeping on my bed and didn’t make a sound‚ so I think the snake must have moved so quietly through the house and then taken Goofy as she slept‚” she explained.
“It was just so distressing to watch that snake coiling round and round‚ the poor dog was absolutely terrified and I could do nothing for her. It was too terrible.”
Scheepers was caring for the dog on behalf of her daughter Rentia‚ 34‚ who had given Goofy a home nine years ago after finding her dumped in the middle of a road.
The African rock python is the continent’s largest snake. It is non-venomous and kills its prey by constriction‚ tightening its coils every time its victim breathes.
BY TIMESLIVE REPORTER
Source: TMG Digital