Man rescues 18ft python before snake almost strangles him as he poses for selfies

Footage shows park ranger wrestling with snake

Maya Oppenheim@mayaoppenheim
Tuesday 19 June 2018 12:13
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Man nearly strangled by 18-foot python in India

An Indian forest ranger was almost strangled by an 18-foot python he had rescued.

Sanjoy Dutta, the forest range officer of Baikunthapor Forest in Jalpaiguri, was posing for selfies with locals after rescuing the giant snake from a village in the state of West Bengal.

While posing for a photo with the python, the animal started to wrap its long body around his neck and almost strangled him in the process.

Mr Dutta could be seen wrestling with the reptile in the frightening footage posted by news agency ANI.

The writhing snake manages to envelop itself around his torso at one point in the clip.

Local villagers rush to help Mr Dutta while he attempts to keep a firm grip near the snake’s head.

Social media users hit out at Mr Dutta – rebuking him for posing for a selfie in such a potentially dangerous situation.

“30 seconds of fame nearly cost the ranger’s life. The animal was only reacting instinctively because it felt threatened. Would’ve been another ‘death by selfie’,” said Twitter user, Trishna.

“His job is to safeguard wild animals, including snakes. All he had to do is put it in a black cloth bag and move it to safety. Anyway, he’s got his share of embarrassment instead of fame. #cheapthrills,” said another.

It comes after an Indonesian woman was found in the belly of a giant python after the swollen snake was captured near where she disappeared while cultivating her vegetable garden, police said on Saturday.

Wa Tiba, 54, left her home on Muna island to visit her cornfield on Thursday night, according to the Jakarta Post.

Her body was found on Friday when villagers cut open the 23ft python which was found bloated in the village of Persiapan Lawela on the island of Muna, off Sulawesi.

Local police chief Hamka said: “Residents were suspicious the snake swallowed the victim, so they killed it, then carried it out of the garden. The snake’s belly was cut open and the body of the victim was found inside.”

Reticulated pythons, a species of python found in South Asia and Southeast Asia which are the longest snakes in the world, usually feed on smaller mammals.

Attacks on humans are supposed to be as infrequent as winning the lottery and being struck by lightning at the same time.

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