Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Python Bites (And Strangles) Hand That Feeds It!

HANOI (Khaleej Times) - A python raised as a pet in southern Vietnam strangled its owner, who had cared for it for more than 10 years, as he was cleaning the giant snake’s cage, an official said on Tuesday.

The 40-kilogram, 2.5-meter reptile reached out and wrapped itself around the neck of Nguyen Viet Ho, 69, and squeezed him to death after he opened the door of the cage to clean it Monday, according to a local government official.

“When other family members found Ho, he was already dead, but the snake wasn’t trying to swallow him,” said Duong Huu Thien, a government official from Kien Giang province, 250 kilometres southwest of Ho Chi Minh City.

The killer python is the biggest among nine snakes raised in Ho’s farm, where they were often fed rats and chickens.

Both the family and local officials are mystified as to why the python attacked its caretaker

“The python might have caught a disease or it had been left hungry for too long,” Thien said. “It was a friendly animal and Ho used to take it out of the cage to bathe it.”


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