Python swallows Indonesian woman

Python swallows Indonesian woman

MAKASSAR, Indonesia: An Indonesian woman has been found dead in the belly of a giant python after the swollen snake was captured near where she vanished while tending her vegetable garden.

The body of 54-year-old Wa Tiba was found on Friday when local residents cut open the seven-metre snake in the village of Persiapan Lawela on the island of Muna, offshore of Sulawesi.

"Residents were suspicious the snake had swallowed the victim, so they killed it, then carried it out of the garden," said local police chief Hamka, who like many Indonesians has only one name.

"The snake's belly was cut open and the body of the victim was found inside."

About 100 residents, including worried relatives, launched a search for the woman after she failed to return from her garden Thursday night.

Hamka said villagers found the giant snake lying about 30 metres from Tiba's sandals and machete, adding that she had been swallowed head-first and her body was found intact.

The garden in which she disappeared was at the base of a rocky cliff, pockmarked by caves, and known to be home to snakes, Hamka added.

Giant pythons, which regularly top six metres, are commonly found in Indonesia and the Philippines. While they have been known to attack small animals, attempts to eat people are rare.

In March last year, a farmer was killed by a python in the village of Salubiro on Sulawesi.


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