Python Swallowed Pet Cat and Kittens Where They Slept

A python has swallowed a pet cat and kittens where they slept in Australia.

Snake catcher Tiarnah Kingaby was called to a property in Waterford, in the south of Brisbane, to remove the reptile.

A woman found the python close to where her cats and kittens normally slept—but the cats were nowhere to be seen. The snake appeared to have a bulging prey item in its stomach, meaning it had recently fed.

"Yeah it's more than likely the customers' cats," Josh Castle, owner of snake removal service Josh's Snake Catching and Relocation, told Newsweek, referring to the bulge in the snake's stomach. "[The homeowner] called this morning stating that her cats are missing."

A picture shows Kingaby holding the python after removing it from the property. In the middle of its body, a huge bulge can be seen. The snake was removed from the property and released into a safe area away from the public.

Snake caught with cats in belly
A snake catcher holds a python that had been found nearby where some pet cats slept. Josh's snake catching and relocation

The snake season in Australia is currently in full swing. Snakes are more active during the warmer summer months as they are cold-blooded. It is not uncommon for snakes to slither into residential areas. They will often be drawn to these areas in search of prey or shelter.

Pythons eat a wide variety of prey, and typically feast on small rodents, mammals or lizards.

Pythons are common in Brisbane. The snakes are non-venomous and kill their prey by constriction. They will swallow their prey whole and slowly digest it over a matter of days.

The photo was posted to the Brisbane North Snake Catcher Facebook page.

"I love pythons but this is heartbreaking. I would be devastated," one social media user said.

"Bloody magnificent python and to cat owners another reason to keep cats indoors & not roaming the neighborhood," another Facebook user said.

Another social media user said this would be "an awful way to die for any prey."

"There's something really horrible about these particular snakes," the comment said.

Kingaby, responding to the comment, said that in this particular area, it is illegal for cats to wander freely without being confined to an escape-proof outdoor enclosure or inside the house.

"There's nothing horrible about these snakes at all—they are beautiful and misunderstood native animals, and they have much more of a right to be here than any cat. Cats need to be contained to protect both themselves and our natives," Kingaby said in response. "Unfortunately this is the risk one takes when deciding to not contain their animals appropriately."

Kingaby said that the snakes do not know "morally right from morally wrong."

"They simply do not have the capacity to think 'hey, I shouldn't eat this, it's someone's pet,'" Kingaby said in a Facebook comment. "Regardless of what anyone thinks is right or wrong, it is a risk you take when housing animals where snakes live, and always have lived."

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