Watch How These Villagers Fought Off And Killed A Giant Python In Indonesia

Watch How These Villagers Fought Off And Killed A Giant Python In Indonesia

In September 2017, villagers in Indonesia had quite a surprise. A 25.5 foot long reticulated python was discovered by a guard while he was returning from work in a palm plantation.

The photos made the rounds on the web for a week and for good reason, finding a snake of this size is not common. The photos were posted on Facebook by a resident of the Batang Gansal region on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. One can see the dead python strung up by the villagers.

It was guard Robert Nababan who stumbled across the 25.5 foot animal's path as he was returning from work in a palm plantation. According to a specialist, it was more specifically a reticulated python (Malayopython reticulatus), a species common in Southeast Asia and which can measure up to 30 feet, although this size is ‘quite rare.’

The snake was in the middle of the road and prevented two villagers from crossing, said the 37-year-old man. In attempting to capture him, Robert Nababan was seriously injured. ‘I tried to catch him, he bit my arm and we struggled for a while,’ the guard said from his hospital bed.

Villagers came to the rescue and began to hit the snake to make him let go, which the snake eventually did. The python was finally killed before being presented in the village and eaten by the locals. Although Robert Nababan's life is not in danger, his hand could be amputated hospital officials told the BBC.

A ‘provoked’ snake

The reticulated python is one of the largest snakes in the world. A formidable predator, he kills his prey which range from rodents to larger specimens like pigs or dogs, by constricting them. This consists of gripping the prey until it cuts off their circulation and smothering it before swallowing it up at once.

In Sumatra, pythons are frequently encountered, especially in plantations. ‘There are at least 10 sighting a year. During the dry season they go out to have a drink, and with the humidity they go out to bathe in the rain,’ a police spokesperson said before specifying that ‘There are usually many rodents in the plantations.’

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According to Donal Boyer, a specialist in herpetology from the Wildlife Conservation Society who was interviewed by LiveScience, the python probably tried to bite the guard and use his body to squeeze the man but not attack him like prey, but rather to defend himself. The snake was ‘provoked,’ the expert said.

Cases of reticulated pythons feeding on humans are very rare. However, last March, a 25-year-old man was found in the belly of a 23 foot python at another plantation in West Sulawesi, in Indonesia. A discovery that has raised many questions about what really happened.

Check out the video above to see how the villagers fought the python off... 

• Rob Mitchell
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