Missing Mother Found Dead Inside 16-Foot Python After It Swallowed Her Whole

Reticulated pythons are known to use their sharp curved teeth to latch onto prey, then constrict and swallow it whole.

AP/Wilfredo Lee
McKayla Spencer, the Interagency Python Management Coordinator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission holds up a Burmese python during a news conference. AP/Wilfredo Lee

A woman has been discovered dead inside a python that swallowed her whole in central Indonesia, a local official announced over the weekend.

The freak incident marks at least the fifth fatal incident involving a python in the country since 2017.

A 45-year-old mother of four from Kalempang village in South Sulawesi province went missing on Thursday night, AFP reports. Her husband and other villagers began searching for her and found her belongings, which raised their suspicions.

They soon encountered a 16-foot reticulated python with an unusually large belly. Upon cutting open the snake, the woman’s head was immediately visible. She was found fully clothed inside the python.

Videos shared online showed the snake being cut open in a wooded area, while additional footage depicted the woman’s body being carried away in a blanket by distressed villagers.

Reticulated pythons are known to use their sharp curved teeth to latch onto prey, then constrict and swallow it whole. These snakes are common in Indonesia and other parts of Southeast Asia and typically prey on monkeys, pigs, and other mammals.

Though human fatalities caused by pythons are rare, there have been several recent incidents in Indonesia. Last year, an eight-meter python killed and consumed a farmer in Southeast Sulawesi’s Tinanggea district. In 2022, a woman from Jambi province suffered a similar fate, according to local reports.

Other notable incidents include the 2018 death of a woman in Muna town and the 2017 case of a farmer found inside a four-meter python at a palm oil plantation.

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