By: Kelsey Vlamis ……
Authorities in Indonesia were looking for a missing 54-year-old woman at her place of work when they stumbled across a 22-foot-long python that appeared unusually bloated.
They killed and cut open the snake, and found the woman’s body, whole and intact, inside the snake’s stomach.
The woman, identified as Jahrah, went to work at a rubber plantation in Jambi, located on the island of Sumatra, on Sunday morning. She was reported missing that evening when she did not return home, local media outlets reported, per the BBC.
After her husband found some of her clothes and work tools he called a search party. A day later, the snake with the bulging body was found.
“The victim was found in the snake’s stomach,” local police chief AKP S Harefa told local outlets, adding the snake was up to 7 meters, or around 22 feet. Harefa told CNN Indonesia they were able to confirm it was the missing woman after cutting open its belly.
“The victim’s body was not destroyed when we found her inside the snake, meaning that she had only been recently swallowed whole,” local police said, according to The Washington Post.
It’s unusual for pythons to swallow humans, though there are on rare occasions similar reports. In 2017, video captured a man in Indonesia who had gone missing and was later found inside a 23-foot-long python. The following year a woman, also in Indonesia, was swallowed whole by a python while checking on her crop.
Pythons do typically swallow their food whole, with their unique anatomy allowing their jaws to expand wide enough to encapsulate objects much larger than the circumference of their own bodies.
“They are constrictors, so what they do is coil their body around you. They will give you a hug of death. You breathe in and your body gets smaller, it tightens its grip, and you can’t breathe out,” Nathan Rusli, director of the Indonesia Herpetofauna Foundation, told The Post. “The top and bottom jaw of a snake is connected by ligaments, it’s quite flexible. They can swallow prey larger than the size of their head.”
Rusli also said he guessed the snake in the latest incident was a reticulated python, which can grow up to well over 20 feet long.