Danger to humans
Two incidents, apparently in early 20th-century Indonesia
: On Salibabu island, North Sulawesi
, a 14-year-old boy was killed and supposedly eaten by a specimen 5.17 m (17.0 ft) in length. Another incident involved an adult woman reputedly eaten by a "large reticulated python", but few details are known. Attacks on humans are rare, but this species has been responsible for several human fatalities, in both the wild and captivity. Considering the known maximum prey size, it is technically possible for a full-grown specimen of P. reticulatus
to open its jaws wide enough to swallow a human, but the width of the shoulders of some adult Homo sapiens
would probably pose a problem for even a snake with sufficient size. They are among the few snakes that have been suggested to prey on humans. Reports of human fatalities and human consumption (the final example of consumption of an adult human being well authenticated) include:
- Franz Werner reported a case from Burma occurring either in the early 1910s or in 1927. A jeweller named Maung Chit Chine, who went hunting with his friends, was apparently eaten by a 6 m (19.7 ft) specimen after he sought shelter from a rainstorm in or under a tree. Supposedly, he was swallowed feet-first, contrary to normal snake behaviour, but perhaps the easiest way for a snake to actually swallow a human.
- In 1932, Frank Buck wrote about a teenage boy who was eaten by a pet 25 ft (7.6 m) reticulated python in the Philippines. According to Buck, the python escaped, and when it was found, a human child's shape was recognized inside the snake, and turned out to be the son of the snake's owner.
- Among a small group of Aeta negritos in the Philippines, six deaths by pythons were said to have been documented within a period of 40 years, plus one who died later of an infected bite.
- On September 4, 1995, Ee Heng Chuan, a 29-year-old rubber tapper from the southern Malaysian state of Johor, was reported to have been killed by a large reticulated python. The victim had apparently been caught unaware and was squeezed to death. The snake had coiled around the lifeless body with the victim's head gripped in its jaws when it was stumbled upon by the victim's brother. The python, reported as measuring 23 ft (7.0 m) long and weighing more than 300 lb, was killed soon after by the arriving police, who shot it four times.
- On October 23, 2008, a 25-year-old Virginia Beach, Virginia woman, Amanda Ruth Black, appeared to have been killed by a 13-foot (4.0 m) pet reticulated python. The apparent cause of death was asphyxiation. The snake was later found in the bedroom in an agitated state. However, as constricting snakes kill via shutting off blood flow and not asphyxiation, whether the snake actually caused the death can be questioned.
- On January 21, 2009, a 3-year-old Las Vegas boy was wrapped in the coils of an 18-foot (5.5 m) pet reticulated python, turning blue. The boy's mother, who had been petsitting the python on behalf of a friend, rescued the toddler by gashing the python with a knife. The snake was later euthanized because of its wounds.
- On March 27, 2017, the body of Akbar Salubiro, a 25-year-old farmer in Central Mamuju Regency, West Sulawesi, Indonesia, was found inside the stomach of a 7 m (23 ft) reticulated python. He had been declared missing from his palm tree plantation, and the people searching for him found the python the next day with a large bulge in its stomach. They killed the python and found the whole body of the missing farmer inside. This is the only fully confirmed case of a reticulated python deliberately killing and consuming a human adult: the process of retrieving the body from the python's stomach was documented by pictures and videos taken by witnesses.
Keywords:BURMESE PYTHON, Python bivittatus, antoni uni, fauna, nature, serpents, snakes, thailand
© Antoni Uni, el primero UniCo de l'Escala 2017