An enormous 22-foot python is believed to have swallowed a grandmother whole in Indonesia.
The 54-year-old called Jahrah disappeared from her home in the Jambi province of Sumatra’s western Island on October 21, according to the Mail Online.
After a search party, local people allegedly found the huge python with a bulging stomach inside a forest. They cut it open and found the woman’s body inside, the media outlet reported.
Indonesia is home to the reticulated python. The species can be found across South and Southeast Asia and is the world’s longest snake.
These snakes can reach enormous sizes. They regularly grow on average up to 16 feet, but some have been reported to be much larger.
Reticulated pythons are constricting snakes, meaning they coil around their prey to kill it. They are a non-venomous species but incredibly strong. The species can swallow prey whole as their jaws are joined to flexible ligaments, meaning they can move around victims very easily.
“It does appear that there are some genuine cases of reticulated pythons eating humans,” Graham Alexander, professor of herpetology at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, told Newsweek.
But he said that the woman would not have been eaten alive.
“Typically, pythons will constrict their prey and kill it before ingesting,” he said.
Alexander however said this claim was not based on anything.
Such cases have occurred in Indonesia before, but they are incredibly rare.
In 2018, a 54-year-old victim called Wa Tiba was found inside a reticulated python, on Muna island in Southeast Sulawesi, according to a USA Today report. The snake with a bloated belly was found 54 yards away and was cut open to reveal the victim’s body.
And in 2017, a 25-year-old man was swallowed by a python in the West Sulawesi province.
Large pythons can feast on large mammals such as pigs, and monkeys. Humans are not usually hunted by the species.
Snakes will sometimes misjudge the size of the prey and try to swallow things that are much too big for them. In these instances, they will often regurgitate the prey, or failing this, die.
In cases where humans are eaten, their size would have been very small.
Anto said that villagers are getting growingly concerned about the large snake slithering around the nearby forests.
The species has also recently swallowed livestock such as two resident goats, he said.