The body of a 54-year-year-old woman who disappeared on her way to work has been found in the stomach of a 21-foot-long python. The tragedy unfolded after the woman, named Jahrad, left her home to work on a plantation in Jambi province, located on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, on Sunday morning.
Becoming concerned after she failed to return home that evening, her husband reported her missing.
During a subsequent search, he found her sandals, scarf, jacket and work tools, and the following day a large snake was spotted nearby.
Local police chief AKP S Harefa told the Detik news site: “When the security team and residents conducted a search around the rubber plantation, then we found a python seven metres long.
“It is this snake that is suspected of preying on the victim. After we caught him, we found the victim’s body in the snake’s stomach.”
Pythons tend to live rainforests, although they also dwell in grasslands, woodlands, swamps, rocky outcrops, dunes and shrubs.
They kill by crushing their prey, usually eat smaller animals which they swallow whole, and rarely attack humans.
Four years ago, on the island of Nuna, near Sulawesi, a woman was likewise eaten by one, having disappeared from her garden, close to the bottom of a cliff where snakes lived in caves.
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The first was reported to the RSPCA on August 28, but then another was spotted just metres away in the same location, prompting concerns that there could be more on the loose.
One was was rescued from a tree, while the other was seen crossing the road.
RSPCA inspector Justin Stubbs told CambridgeshireLive: “Having rescued last Friday’s python, I couldn’t believe it when the call came through to say there had been another found in almost exactly the same spot.
“I’m afraid that’s no coincidence – it’s looking likely these poor animals were abandoned, or have escaped from the same place.”
The largest species – the reticulated python – can grow to lengths exceeding 20 feet.
The longest confirmed snake measured 22 metres and 10 inches, despite reports of some reaching lengths exceeding 30 feet.
However, even they are dwarfed by Titanboa, which thrived 60 million years ago after the extinction of the dinosaurs, and which could grow to lengths of up to 42 feet weighing in at 2,500 lb.