A grandmother was swallowed whole by a massive 22-foot-long python in Indonesia – one of several horrifying incidents captured on video in the Southeastern Asian country in recent years as experts blame the attacks on growing deforestation in the region.
The victim in Sunday’s case, identified only as a 54-year-old grandmother named Jahrah, failed to return home from collecting rubber at a plantation in the Jambi province earlier in the day.
54-Year-Old Grandmother Latest Victim Of Deadly Snake Attack, Villagers Cut Open Serpent To Discover Her Body
Her husband frantically searched the area, but only discovered his wife’s jacket, headscarf, sandals and knife, Betara Jambi Police Chief AKP Herafa told CNN Indonesia.
A search party was formed the next day, where the giant snake was found with a swollen mid-section, indicating it had eaten something large.
Shocking video, uploaded to ViralPress, shows a volunteer carefully using a branch to hold the snake’s head down as others begin to bash it above the swollen area.
The clip then cuts to villagers carefully slicing the python open, where officials say the body of the missing woman was found.
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“Everyone was astonished,” Anto, the head of the local Terjun Gajah village, told ViralPress. “It turned out that the woman we were looking for was in the snake’s stomach.”
Anto believes the snake bit Jahrah before wrapping itself around her and suffocating and swallowing her, adding it would have taken at least two hours for it to finish devouring her.
And the massive serpent wasn’t even the biggest found in the village, with a 27-foot-long python having previously been spotted, according to Anto.
Sunday’s Incident One Of Several Deadly Snake Attacks In Indonesia In Recent Years, Officials Say
Unfortunately that one was not captured, the official said, leaving locals “worried that bigger snakes are still in the forest.”
Jahrah’s death comes several years after another 55-year-old woman was eaten by a giant snake in the Muna district of Southeast Sulawesi back in 2018. Disturbing video of that incident was also posted online, where it quickly went viral.
And in 2017, another python similarly swallowed an Indonesian palm oil farmer whole, according to Vice.
The 25-five-year-old, reportedly named Akbar, was been found deceased inside the stomach of a 23-foot-long python, the Jakarta Post reports.
A giant python found in Indonesia 😯🙄😳 pic.twitter.com/LDNS1DLRhu
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His body was identified by neighbors who found the snake and recognized the outline of their friend’s gumboots in the serpent’s stomach. The reptile was reportedly reclining just feet from its victim’s home.
His body was found completely intact upon cutting the snake’s stomach open.
Experts Blame Deforestation Caused By Palm Oil Industry Forcing Snakes To Seek Alternate Food Sources
Experts blame deforestation as the reason snake’s are seeking alternative food sources. Pythons don’t usually eat humans, and in the above cases, the victims were already dead long before being devoured.
According to agriculture lecturer Rahmansyah from Hasanuddin University in Makassar, habitat loss caused by Indonesia’s lucrative palm oil industry may be at least partly responsible for the snake’s unusual decision to go after human prey.
“Because the habitat is destroyed, the snake’s natural food sources are also affected. Thus, the snake went out to the palm oil plantation to seek prey,” Rahmansyah told the Jakarta Post of the 2017 incident.
In that incident, palm oil farmers were so scared that many stayed home from work following the man’s death.
Indonesia is the world’s largest producer of palm oil and threats to endangered rainforest species had forced the Indonesian government to issue a five-year moratorium back in 2016 on new palm oil plantation permits, according to Mongabay News.