In a scene straight out of a horror movie, or perhaps South Florida, an Australian woman was recently awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of her son being attacked by a python.
The incident, which occurred in Macksville, Australia, has sent chills up the spines of parents everywhere as the story has gone viral on the internet. You are going to freak out when you hear this story.
A six-year-old boy, identified only as Tyler, was attacked by a python while sleeping in the top bunk of his bed. As he screamed out in terror, his mother, Tammy, who had been asleep in the next room, came racing in to find the ten-foot long snake biting her son’s head and hands.
Speaking with the tabloid, The Daily Mail, Tammy said “It was a terrifying scream and I didn’t know what had happened. I certainly didn’t think it involved a snake. I have no idea how it even got into the house. I saw his face and the blood and his eyes were still closed so I don’t think he was fully awake. I tried to check him over but he wouldn’t let me touch him anywhere.”
She was able to free her son from the reptile’s clutches and race him to a nearby hospital. She called her cousins to go by the house and remove the snake.
Tammy says that luckily, her son has no direct memory of the attack, and is only aware of it because of the media attention.
“He was only complaining about his finger hurting. He tapped his head on the way to the hospital and he asked me why he was bleeding. He wouldn’t know that a snake had bitten him if we hadn’t told him or if people hadn’t been talking about it,” says the mother.
While they were at the hospital Tammy’s cousins texted her pictures of the snake. One of her cousins held the gigantic python at arm’s length to demonstrate its massive size. Those pictures were then posted to Facebook, where they instantly became viral.
Using her Facebook page, Tammy has been updating friends and family on Tyler’s condition and recovery.
The Guardian spoke with a local pet shop owner who specializes in snakes, Steve McEwan of Reptile World Coffs Harbour, for some thoughts about how the attack happened
“I assume the lights were off and the child was asleep, and being a python he has detected some warmth and slight movement. They have heat sensors, and they don’t think about the size of their prey. If it’s hungry it will bite anything, and if it can’t eat it, it can’t eat it. But I don’t believe the snake was going to feast on the child. It’s all instinct, not thought processes.”
Pythons have become a huge environmental problem in South Florida, where ignorant exotic pet owners have released them into the Everglades when they become too large to handle. As they breed prodigiously and the climate and ecology of the Everglades is almost identical to Southeast Asia, the animals have started to affect the delicate balance of the wetlands, and as real estate encroaches into the same space, it is inevitable that similar attacks will occur in South Florida as well.