Python tries to suffocate boy, 2, in Port Douglas backyard
A TODDLER has survived a snake attack in his backyard after neighbours rushed to pull a python off the boy as it tried to suffocate him.
The boy’s mother told of her terror as she saw the python coiled around the two-year-old and trying to suffocate him.
She contacted The Cairns Post to share the traumatic event as a caution to others.
The woman was sitting on her porch when her youngest son moved off to chase after a ball about 7.45pm on Monday.
"Then I heard this blood curdling scream," she said.
"The snake was biting his leg and was wrapped around his whole body, to his chest. It started constricting."
The woman could not pull the snake off her son, but her screams alerted neighbours who ran to help.
She said the attack happened so quickly and was "very scary".
The boy was taken by ambulance to Mossman Hospital and then transported to Cairns Base Hospital.
Queensland Health yesterday confirmed the boy was treated at the hospitals, that he had sustained four bite wounds, and that he was discharged after 24 hours.
Mossman Hospital staff did not have access to a snake venom detection kit when the boy arrived on Monday night but tests at Cairns Base Hospital confirmed it was a non-venomous snake that bit him.
A neighbour said it had been a long time since he had seen a snake in the area, adding "we’ll be keeping a very close eye on the dog".
Another neighbour reported hearing the woman’s screams.
Marlin Coast Veterinary Hospital veterinarian Rod Gilbert said pythons were more active between October and April when they were on the hunt for food.
He had never heard of a snake trying to eat a child but said pythons were known to prey on wallabies up to 30kg.
"I suppose a two-year-old boy is not much different from a wallaby – it could definitely happen," Dr Gilbert said.
"A snake wouldn’t be able to make the difference between a two-year-old boy and a wallaby, part of their normal prey."
Snake catcher David Walton said the incident was a timely reminder for residents of the Far North.
"I’ve never seen it happen before but given the right opportunity it’s certainly possible," Mr Walton said.
"It’s a bit of a worry."
Python varieties in the Far North can grow to several metres in length.
In March, pythons were blamed for killing nine cats in Cairns backyards and experts have said on average there is one cat death per month from snakes.
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