An alarming photo of a giant python with the remnants of its last meal still inside its bulging belly has caused quite a stir online.
The reptile was photographed inside what looks to be a shed or garage with an overly expanded stomach.
“The snake was quite happy laying up for the next few days digesting its big meal," the group said in a Facebook post that has since received 3,200 reactions.
But online users weren’t so sure.
“That’s not a possum,” one person wrote.
“That looks way too big to be a possum,” another added.
While others took a guess at what the snake could have eaten instead.
“They got a dog?” one person wrote.
“Well they don’t no more,” came a response.
“Bloody big possum…” another added, “anybody missing a dog in the area?”
Domestic animals fall prey to snake’s appetite
“You can see the snake’s skin is all stretched so it has taken something like three times the size of it,” Sean Cade from Australian Snake Catchers told Yahoo News Australia.
He said the reptile looks to be a Coastal Carpet Python.
“It is quite a long snake, you can see the tail is near its head, so it is probably a three-metre snake.”
But he’s not sure the reptile’s last meal was a dog.
“The canine smell is quite different to a cat,” he said.
“It’s not often that a snake will take a dog unless it is extremely hungry.”
Keep small pets inside to avoid becoming a meal
When it comes to advice for protecting your pet, Mr Cade said awareness is key.
“It doesn’t matter if you don’t back right onto a national park or bushland area,” he said, “100 metres is not far for a snake to travel, even two kilometres".
He is urging people to eliminate any potential food sources around the outside of their homes, in a bid to reduce their chance of an encounter or their pets becoming a meal.
While he adds that keeping dogs inside at all times is unrealistic, he warns younger and smaller breeds are more susceptible to end up inside a snake.
“If you have a young pup or a kitten, take it outside and spend time out there with it and then bring it back inside, instead of leaving it outside to their own devices,” he said.
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