Footage of two men capturing a 4.3-metre-long “dog-eating” python in Sai Kung has been watched and shared widely in recent days.
In it, local snake expert Dave Willott can be seen wrangling the 23 kilogramme python into a bag with the help of Hong Kong resident Karl Davies, who had reportedly been bitten by the very same serpent earlier this week.
Davies, who uploaded the video to his Facebook page yesterday morning, told SCMP that he was bitten by the serpent, which is believed to have previously attacked pet dogs, while walking in the area a few days prior.
Davies struggled with the 23 kilogramme reptile for 30 seconds, which left him with bite marks to his lower calf and gashes on his fingers.
Willott, Davies and Simon Parry, who filmed the video, later returned to the scene to capture the “rather skinny” snake, in order to prevent the animal from attacking more dogs and humans.
Willott, who is also known as the “Sai Kung Snake Catcher”, said he didn’t think the python was trying to eat Davies, as its species doesn’t normally attack humans. “It was a mistake. It could sense the dogs and feel their heat.”
Fellow Hong Kong snake lover William Sargent concurs. In the “Hong Kong Snakes” Facebook group earlier today, Sargent wrote, “Burmese pythons do not hunt humans, the fact that this guy got bit was likely a mistake, and he was after the dog.”
“Most likely this was a last ditch effort to get a meal,” Sargent said. “Pythons in HK tend to prefer smaller prey than dogs – less risk – but in the case of this guy as he was so thin, it took the chance.”
In the unlikely event a “python starts munching your dog”, Sargent said, “If a very large python rolls around a small dog, in the right way, the dog will expire very quickly (possibly less than a minute).”
However, if the python is medium-sized, the dog is large, or there are multiple people around to help, “try to stretch the python out by uncoiling from the tail first. All the strength in the snake is in its coils, and is relatively easy to handle once it is stretched out – even fully grown HK sized pythons!”
For more information on what to do when you see, or are bitten by a snake, check out our illustrated guide to Hong Kong’s venomous snakes.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been updated.
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