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Pet owners warned after snake discovered with 'enormous' bulge

Snake catchers said it's the largest food item they've ever seen eaten by a snake.

Aussie snake catchers were shocked to discover a large carpet python with a mammoth bulge halfway down its body after eating a large animal.

Stuart from Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers said it's by far "the biggest food item I've ever seen" after he was called to a facility in Buderim, Queensland this week, and was concerned the reptile might have swallowed a pet cat or small dog.

But he and his colleague Dan later confirmed it was likely a brushtail possum after taking the snake to the vet where they held a microchip scanner over its body. If the scanner beeps, the animal inside has been microchipped, so it's likely a cat or dog. But if it doesn't, that could mean it's another wild animal as "most cats and dogs these days are microchipped" Dan explained.

Large carpet python with huge bulge after eating animal.
Snake catchers Dan and Stu (pictured) were called to rescue a huge carpet python which had just eaten a large animal. Source: Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers

Snakes 'smashing big food items'

Speaking to Yahoo News, Dan said snakes have been "smashing big food items lately" and it's made up many of their recent jobs. "Possums, birds, whatever they can get," he said.

"Basically they've done their mating, females are all starting to lay eggs, so they won't be eating, but the boys wanna go and put the weight back on and get their conditioning ready for the next winter period," he explained.

Snake feasts on 'enormous'possum

The snake gurus posted a photo of the ginormous snake on Facebook. "Look at the size of this food item," they wrote. Dan told Yahoo that brushtail possums are usually pretty big, but this one had to be enormous.

A meal this size "would sustain that snake for an incredibly long time," he said. "In fact, a big snake like this can have a really large meal and not eat for months".

snake Carpet python snake with large bulge after eating animal.
The snake had eaten a brush tail possum but they can target cats and small dogs too. Source: Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers

A follow-up clip shows Dan releasing the reptile back into the wild. Upon doing so, the snake makes a swift exit into the bushes. There it will bask in the sun and start the digestion process. "You'd probably have food come back out in terms of faecal matter in like that seven to eleven-day mark," Dan explained.

Pet owners warned: 'Threat to dogs as well'

While it's unlikely a pet was harmed in this particular scenario, it does happen, Dan said.

"We've actually had a couple of instances where snakes have been wrapped around dogs. So it's good to be aware that there's that kind of threat to dogs as well," he said. "If you've got puppies, keep them inside or monitor your small dogs in particular, especially if they've got a tendency to chase after snakes and lizards."

"Whilst they might not be able to always eat them, they can certainly be strong enough to kill them. They're so strong. People don't realize until you've actually felt how muscular they are."

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