How we nearly tripped over a headless snake that had swallowed a dog whole

An item I saw on some forum somewhere reminded me of a hike I took one day in Hong Kong.

Seems a dog in Australia let himself get too cozy with a python and ended up in the belly of the beast:


It does happen from time to time.

Not long after arriving in Hong Kong I was on a hike with my girlfriend in the Sai Kung Country Park, one of the few large patches of oceanside greenery remaining in that crowded little spot.

We had just disembarked at the last bus stop and were walking along a sidewalk on the last strip of road before the trailhead, when Amy let out a SHRIEK and jumped off the curb.

Most of it was in the bushes in shadow, but getting closer and hauling it out by the cord to get a better look, here’s what we saw:


I still don’t know what happened to the snake’s head, but we think it might have been sawed off for stuffing as a souvenir by the same person who wrapped a rope and dragged it to the place we found it.


Nearly tripping over a headless, 2.5-metre snake with a dead dog’s legs sticking out isn’t everyone’s idea of the ideal way to begin a hike, but after we’d gotten over the initial shock and taken a few pictures, we pulled the carcass back into the bushes and carried on.

Update: Reader Amanda left a comment saying that’s no dog!  By the look of the tapered tail, the delicate feet and retractable claws, it’s a CAT.

27 Responses to “How we nearly tripped over a headless snake that had swallowed a dog whole”

  1. March 17, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    No way! That’s HORRIBLE! What a way to go. Not only is it a horrifying end, but it’s humiliating, to boot. You’re food for something else. There’s nothing lower than that.The Obama Fingers story finally made it way to the U.S. It appears in today’s New York Daily News.

  2. 2 lilalia
    March 17, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    Uggh! To think I used to own a boa constrictor (name: Michelin) four years long. Even so, I wasn’t prepared for your snake-swallow-dog story. And the photos… pleease.

  3. March 17, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    OK-color me squeamish, or at least green (and not having a thing to do with St. Paddy’s Day). :->

  4. March 18, 2009 at 8:20 am

    Good Lord! Nearly spilled my Cornflakes all over the keyboard.

  5. March 18, 2009 at 9:37 am

    I’m thinking that anyone who read the title of the piece should be prepared for a possibly disgusting story and most likely a picture or two. They are warned, no worries.

  6. 8 Jul
    March 18, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Yikes. That’s not an image I would forget quickly.

  7. March 18, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    wow – that’s an incredible thing to stumble across – I can’t believe the size of it

    by the way, i keep getting visits from that forum you’ve linked to – what have you said about me on there?

    • March 18, 2009 at 10:39 pm

      Hi Nurse – you should just click back on that incoming link and take a look!🙂

      There was a thread with photos of “naughty nuns” so I dropped a link to one of your posts with a few of your famously saucy old-fashioned postcards. Anyone leave a comment?

  8. March 18, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    Wow, really disturbing photos. Especially for a dog owner. It’d have to be a freakishly big snake to get Charlie though.

  9. March 19, 2009 at 10:49 am

    I only found one page of “naughty nuns” and there wasn’t anything I’d posted on there. Can you send me the full link?

  10. March 20, 2009 at 9:30 am

    I’ve never eaten a dog whole, I like to quarter it, though I’m sure I could fit one into my mouth whole, certainly one of those laptop dogs!

    • March 20, 2009 at 9:52 am


      An old friend of mine went to teach in Viet Nam for a couple of years a while back. At his welcome dinner with colleagues they served him a portion of the foulest meat he’d ever seen, but being new and not wanting to run into any problems with lost face all around, he ate some of it and could barely keep it down. Turned out to be dog.

  11. 16 Amanda
    March 21, 2009 at 1:26 am

    I’ve not posted before, so I feel ever so bad that my first post to your blog has to be a “tsk tsk,” but…that’s no boa-ized dog in the photo – it’s a cat. Furry little delicate feet? Check. Retractable claws? Check. Long skinny tail? Check. Does it really matter what’s coming out of that decapitated snake’s former neck? No, not really, but I still found myself compelled to comment anyway.

    Love your blog, Ian! Keep on keeping on.

  12. March 21, 2009 at 6:02 am

    Hi Amanda – OMGWTF as they say most annoyingly… You mean I’ve been telling the wrong story for the past 15 years? My headline has to go? I promise not to shoot the messenger.🙂

    Thanks for pointing that out. I’ve stuck in an update in the story to draw attention to it.

  13. 18 writechicpress
    March 21, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Good God! And a big ol’ ewwwwww. Some things are better experienced by photography.😉

  14. March 22, 2009 at 4:19 am

    I once tripped over a snake eating a toad once at the Indiana Dunes on the shore of Lake Michigan. I can still see the toad looking at me out of the snake’s mouth. Those animals-inside-of-other-animals images stick with you.

    I also once caught a baby garter snake with my hands and it tried to bite me. But it was so tiny that its little teeth couldn’t cut my skin. That was rather cute.

    Those are my only two snakes stories I have, besides the story about the snake that slithered through my hands when my dad made me pick up a pile of leaves in the yard and then yelled at me when I screamed at the snake, but I’ll save that story for my own blog.

    Your picture does make me feel queasy, I admit that.

    Tab Calhoun

  15. March 27, 2009 at 9:18 am

    Not sure what’s more disturbing. The gross snake snack or that Amanda studied those skinny little legs and that wet, whispy tail closely enough to differentiate between feline and canine!

  16. 21 Nick
    October 29, 2009 at 2:06 am

    ok i dont see what the big deal is i keep both snakes and a dog and these photos have no effect on me.

    • October 29, 2009 at 6:48 am

      Hiya Nick. I’m sure you’ll agree there’s a big difference between looking at just another photo while sitting at a desk and walking along without a care in the world and suddenly think that a snake – a real, live HUGE snake – is right in your path.

  17. January 9, 2010 at 5:02 am

    Being a cat and dog lover, I would love to see the damn python devoured by a king cobra instead!

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