Close call for pooch

2015-10-14 12:04
Diesel is untangled from the python’s coils while his little pal also tries to do his bit by biting at the snake.

Diesel is untangled from the python’s coils while his little pal also tries to do his bit by biting at the snake. (Janet Lovell-Greene)

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Pietermaritzburg - Constricted by a goliath python, a little dog barely escaped with its life when four men saved it from the large reptile’s coils.

Eye-witnesses who encountered the enormous five-metre python recently at the Zingela Safari and River Company near Weenen said it was like “something out of a documentary”.

During a weekend trip to the lodge on Thursday last week, Hillcrest resident Janet Lovell-Greene described a gruelling 12-minute battle to save the life of a little Jack Russell pooch from the knotted grip of a massive African Rock Python.

After a picturesque river swim at sunset, Lovell-Greene, her husband and daughter were trekking back to the lodge for “sundowners” while her son, Kipp (16), continued fishing on the river bank.

It was at that moment Lovell-Greene said she heard her son screaming for help.

“He was shouting for help at the top of his voice. We could not hear exactly what he was saying, but we heard him say a snake had got the dog. We ran down towards him and yelled for more help,” Lovell-Greene said.

Kipp, who had been fishing in the company of two of the lodge’s dogs, was found by his family and two staff members trying to pry one of the dogs, Diesel, out of the grip of a behemoth python that had slithered up on the pooch from the cover of nearby reeds.

Kipp was assisted by his father and the two staff members, all trying to free the dog.

While the men battled with the snake, the other little dog also got into the flurry, trying to bite the snake.

Lovell-Greene said the snake attacked Diesel by biting him in the face, clamping down on his snout with its “massive jaws” before wrapping its “fat” body around Diesel’s body.

It took more 12 minutes to free Diesel, who Lovell-Greene said was on the brink of death.

“They had to push the dog’s head further into the snake’s mouth to unclasp the teeth from the dog’s head before he could be pulled out,” Lovell-Greene said.

“While doing that, they had to try and unwrap the snake’s grip while forcing its jaws open”.

Lovell-Greene relived the moment they thought Diesel had died as his eyes clouded over and his body went limp before he “whistled a tired breath through the side of his mouth”.

“We knew we had only seconds to wrestle him free …”

Eventually escaping with only a few abrasions on the snout, Diesel scurried off while all four of his rescuers carried the snake and hurled it back into the river unharmed.

The Witness tried to contact the Zingela Safari and River Company for comment, however, they were unable to respond before print deadline.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  animals

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