A three-metre-long reticulated python had swallowed a pet Pomeranian dog outside a condominium at Holland Link on Jan. 18.
Swallowed the dog
In an interview with Lianhe Zaobao, the dog's owner, an Australian woman, said that she had called for her dog, Mia, a couple of times.
However, the 39-year-old engineer found something amiss when she didn't hear any response.
After she heard from her husband that he had not brought Mia to work, the woman then stepped out of her apartment in [email protected] and went around the back of the condo to find her pet dog.
That was when she spotted a python wrapping itself around her dog and swallowing its head.
She was so stunned that she stood frozen on the spot for at least five minutes before she yelled for help.
She went to get help from the estate's security guards and authorities, and called her friends nearby as well.
The Animals Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) was also called in for assistance.
Took two and a half hours to remove the snake
In response to Mothership's queries, the co-chief executive officer of Acres, Kalai Vanan, said that the Acres Wildlife Rescue received a call for assistance at about 12:40pm.
It took Acres about two and a half hours to remove the python as it had gotten itself stuck inside a crevice.
Dog did not survive
Unfortunately, Mia did not survive the ordeal as the snake had fully swallowed her by the time Acres arrived.
According to Zaobao, Mia's owner said that she would regularly stand on the apartment's balcony and bark in the direction of the estate's swimming pool prior to the incident.
The owner believed that Mia might have noticed the python lurking behind the pool, and had tried to chase the python away on the day of the incident.
She said she and her husband had decided to hide Mia's death from their two-year-old daughter as they did not want to upset her.
She added that Mia was never hurt during the years they were in Australia -- the family had the dog since seven years ago -- and never expected this to happen within two months after arriving in Singapore.
Part of Singapore's biodiversity
Reticulated pythons are commonly found islandwide and they are part of Singapore's biodiversity, explained Kalai.
They are opportunistic in nature and their diet mostly comprises of rats, which they prey on in Singapore's drainage systems.
Pet animals can be more susceptible to the pythons, said Kalai, as they may lack the alertness or awareness of community animals.
Kalai urges pet owners to always keep their pets close to them as possible.
It is also important to leash your dog when you bring them out for a walk, and refrain from bringing your pets near nature reserves as their presence may startle other wild animals.
Owners of pet birds and cats can also try to prevent escapes by meshing their windows.
If you were to come across such an incident or a wild animal in distress, keep a safe distance.
Do not provoke the animal and call the Acres Wildlife Rescue Hotline at 97837782.
"This incident is an unfortunate one and our heart goes out to Mia's family," added Kalai.
Totally unrelated but follow and listen to our podcast here
Top images courtesy of Kalai Vanan & via Google Streetview.