Woman swallowed whole by a python in Indonesia, second such killing in a month

July 8, 2024
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A woman was found dead inside the belly of a snake after it swallowed her whole in central Indonesia last week, police said, the second python killing in the province in a month.

Siriati, 36, had gone missing after she left her house Tuesday morning to buy medicine for her sick child, police said Wednesday, prompting relatives to launch a search.

Her husband Adiansa, 30, found her slippers and pants on the ground about 500 meters from their house in Siteba village, South Sulawesi province.

“Shortly after that, he spotted a snake, about 10 meters from the path. The snake was still alive,” local police chief Idul, who like many Indonesians has one name, told AFP.

Village secretary Iyang told AFP that Adiansa became suspicious after he noticed the python’s “very large” belly. He called the villagers to help cut open its stomach, where they found her body.

The fatal attack comes about a month after a woman was found dead inside the belly of a reticulated python in another district of South Sulawesi. Graphic video published by TMZ appeared to show the snake being cut open in a wooded area while more footage posted by the Daily Mail appeared to show the woman’s body being carried in a blanket past distressed villagers.

Deadly python attacks in recent years

Such incidents are considered extremely rare, but several people have been swallowed by pythons in recent years.

Last year residents in the province killed an eight-meter python, which was found strangling and eating one of the farmers in a village.

In 2022, a woman in Indonesia’s Jambi province was killed and swallowed whole by a python, the BBC reported, citing local media.

A 54-year-old woman was found dead in 2018 inside a seven-meter python in Southeast Sulawesi’s Muna town.

The year before that, a farmer in West Sulawesi went missing before being found eaten alive by a four-meter python at a palm oil plantation. A six-minute video obtained by CBS News showed villagers slicing open the python’s carcass to reveal the legs and torso of the dead victim, named Akbar.

The reticulated python is the longest snake in the world, according to London’s Natural History Museum. They are native to Southern Asia and can grow to be more than 20 feet long.

Reticulated python
A reticulated python (Malayopython reticulatus) wriggles over a tree trunk at Hagenbeck Zoo in December 2021.

Axel Heimken/picture alliance via Getty Images


The longest reticulated python ever found in the wild was discovered in 1912, according to the museum, and was measured to be nearly 33 feet long – “more than half the length of a bowling lane and makes this snake longer than a giraffe is tall.” 

Zoo Atlanta, which houses reticulated pythons, says the snakes “have a reputation for being aggressive.”

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