A Queensland snake catcher has shared a warning for pet owners after retrieving a carpet python that snuck into a cage and ate a grandmother’s two birds.
The hungry python had entered the cage through gaps in its narrow bars, despite being twice their size.
After consuming the birds, the snake could no longer squeeze out to escape.
Sunshine Coast snake catcher Stu McKenzie said while many pet owners don’t consider snakes a threat to their animals, his team attends similar jobs on a daily basis.
“The daughter gave me a call saying she had just got a call from her mum saying a snake has gone into the cage and eaten two beloved birds,” Mr McKenzie said.
“She was a bit stressed as well, nobody wants to see that situation. Birds are like family to some people.
“We rushed over there as soon as we could but it was too late.”
Brisbane resident Ren Park said she had been through a similar ordeal after a python snuck into her birdcage and ate the family budgie.
“I had two budgies in the cage and woke up to one snake and one budgie in the cage,” Ms Park said.
“My son was devastated as they were his birds. One survived thankfully.”
Mr Mckenzie said bird cages and guinea pig enclosures weren’t built with snakes in mind and extra precautions should be considered to ensure the safety of pets.
“It’s basically just a walk-in buffet. If they don’t have them snake-proof, snakes can easily get in and they’ll keep coming back.”
He said chickens in outdoor coops were the most common victims as well as birds in outdoor aviaries.
“We do remind everyone to go check their enclosures,” Mr McKenzie said.
He added those who keep their birds in outdoor cages should consider bringing them in at night, as this is when pythons are most active.
Putting wire mesh over bird and guinea pig cages can also prevent snakes from entering.
“A snake once went into an aviary and ate 14 finches. It couldn’t move afterwards it was that fat,” Mr McKenzie said.
“It’s quite amazing they can squeeze through gaps half their size.”