A Queensland woman is still rattled after she had to step in to fight a huge python when her chihuahua was grabbed and bitten by the snake at a popular dog beach.
Dog groomer Amanda Taylor was walking three dogs as usual along Doggy Beach, in Noosa, and was preparing for a swim when the unexpected happened.
"I put my towel on the ground and I had the three dogs next to me waiting to go for a swim when the little one, Ferrari (Rari for short), just started screaming, absolutely screaming, and I looked down," Ms Taylor told Yahoo News Australia. "This snake had just grabbed him on the head and he was screaming and walking backwards to try get it off, but the snake was all of the sudden wrapping itself around his head."
The whole situation seemed to occur in about 10 seconds, and once she realised, Ms Taylor leapt into action.
"I really had no time except to see the python's tail go shorter and shorter because it was wrapping around the dog so quickly," she said.
"So I just grabbed what I could, which was the end of the tail with both hands and I started shaking it until it started unravelling and the more it unravelled the bigger my shake got, and then the dog kind of flew through the air and landed on the ground."
"Once he let go I kind of swung backwards and just hurled the snake out into the ocean, where he looked at my Bull Arab dog with the top half of his body upright. And then Rari ran to me, and I had blood on my hands from where he was bitten."
She described the snake as about two to three metres long, however said a man nearby thought it was around 3.5m, describing it as "huge".
Queenslander's pet dog injured but on the mend
As a result of the attack, Rari suffered bites to his eye and ear, though luckily nothing venomous. He has since been taken to the vet.
"Rari has bite marks around his ear and top of his eye, because the snake put so much pressure around his head. He’s got a bleed in his eye, but they said he’s okay and is on antibiotics and eye cream."
The pet's spirits have also since been lifted. "It's like it didn’t happen, he’s just running around like ‘no biggie, when are we going to the beach again'," Ms Taylor said.
Woman praised for taking down snake
Many people congratulated Ms Taylor for how she handled the incident, who described rescuing her black chihuahua as an instinctual "out of body" experience.
"I thought I was being silent but the lady near me later told me ‘you were screaming Amanda’."
"One lady handed me my towel and she wrapped him up and handed him to me. The woman's 13-year-old daughter, then came up to me and said ‘I saw what you did, that was amazing,’ and she carried my other small dog."
"As I walked down the beach it was like a parade, everyone was asking how I am and if Rara is ok."
Warning to beachgoers to keep an eye on pets
Although the beach is known to have snakes, mainly in the bush, Ms Taylor said in her experience "there's been nothing like this" for the last 10 years that she's been going to that beach.
"The sand was still wet, so for the snake to go between myself and two other dogs and grab a dog, I thought that was bizarre," she said. "To think it was going to grab my dog, sit on the beach and eat it."
"There's all tree roots where the tide line is, so I think it was under the tree root that was there, and came in so quickly."
She warned locals to stay vigilant and keep their pets where they can see them.
"Don’t let your dogs run in the bush down there," she said. "Normally I let my Pomeranian explore and go into the bush but I won’t be letting him do that anymore."
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.