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Local hero, snake-catcher extraordinaire, David Willott, in the news again

Sai Kung’s famous snake-catcher, David Willott, has made the news again. We reprint an article from The South China Morning Post for readers who have not yet caught up with his latest adventures.


Large snake caught in Hong Kong after possibly swallowing villager’s cat

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 November, 2017, 2:57pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 November, 2017, 10:47pm

By  Emily Tsang

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Snake catcher David Willott was called in to subdue the snake. Photo: Handout

A large snake suspected to have swallowed a cat was caught in Sai Kung on Tuesday. Tai Wan village resident Don Holliday said his neighbour found the giant reptile in the bushes with a sizeable lump in its belly.

“I was struck the moment I saw it,” Holliday said. “It was absolutely monstrous.”

“Obviously it had had a recent meal. We suspect it was a cat as one neighbour’s pet was missing. I started to worry about my cat too.”

A police report was made and snake catcher David Willott arrived to capture the animal at about 11am.

It took him just under 90 seconds to bundle the snake, which appeared to be moving sluggishly, into a white bag. Holliday caught the entire process on video.

A police spokesman confirmed that a man had called to report the incident at 10.50am on Tuesday. The snake was later sent to Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden in the New Territories.

Willott, a rugby-playing businessman from Britain, is a well-known snake catcher and lives in Sai Kung with his wife and two teenage children. He often works with Sai Kung police to capture snakes, sometimes paying house calls.

He lost half a finger last month after being bitten by a Chinese cobra and infected with its potentially deadly venom. The snake bit him on the middle finger of his right hand as he was bundling it into a bag.

Snakes usually become more active as temperatures fall in late summer and early autumn before they go into hibernation for the winter.

There are between one and three snake catchers registered with each of Hong Kong’s 23 police districts. They are paid about HK$800 per call-out.

The catchers have become increasingly needed as urban expansion leads to more snakes being discovered around Hong Kong homes and businesses.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Cat-eater bagged

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