KURANDA, Australia - A 16-foot python that ate a family's dog was released at a secret location in the Australian bush after regurgitating the pet.
Stuart Douglas, owner of the Venom Zoo in Kuranda, told The Cairns Post that the python, nicknamed Fluffy, apparently threw up the terrier-Chihuahua mix because of stress. Douglas said that because of a power failure he had not been able to regulate the heat.
The owners of the dog had already lost a guinea pig and a cat to snakes before the dog was swallowed.
Douglas said that the python was given a physical check-up and freed. It was done in secret because he has been receiving hate mail about the snake.
"Lots of people thought it should have been killed," Douglas said. "Instead of seeing the amazing uniqueness of the animal, they just saw it eating a pet."
Recent reports have suggested that heavy rains along the east coast of Australia have brought snakes out into the open in unusual numbers with several reports of pets being attacked or killed.
© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.