An Australian mother awoke to terrifying screams from her 6-year-old son, who was being attacked by a nearly 10-foot-long python.
The little boy, Tyler, was asleep in the top bunk in his bedroom last Friday night when he woke up to find the python wrapped around his waist and viciously biting his face and hand. Shortly after the altercation began, Tyler's mom, Tamara, heard her son's blood-curdling screams, and ran into the room and ripped the snake from his body, Guardian News reported.
"It was like a nightmare. ... It was a terrifying scream and I didn't know what had happened — I certainly didn't think it involved a snake," the mother said, perplexed as to how the snake entered the home in the first place.
Ultimately, in order to get Tyler free from the violent python, Tamara told Guardian News that she had to roll her son, in order to uncoil the snake from his small body.
"I saw his face and the blood and his eyes were still closed so I don't think he was fully awake," Tamara said. "I tried to check him over but he wouldn't let me touch him anywhere."
Several minutes later, Tamara's cousins arrived at the residence and were able to kill the snake with a wooden pole. The mother drove her son to a nearby hospital. After being treated, Tyler had no recollection of the attack, which Tamara said "is the best part."
"He was only complaining about his finger hurting. He tapped his head on the way to hospital and he asked me why he was bleeding," she said. "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."
Craig Baker, a family friend, posted an image on Facebook of Tyler's blood-covered face, along with a photo of Tamara's cousin, Brady, holding the dead python.
"[Tamara] ... had to pull the snake off him," Baker wrote in the caption of the two pictures.
The six year old was transferred to another hospital later in the evening and has since returned home. The hospital reported that Tyler is "fine."
Snake experts determined the snake to be a carpet python, which is non-venomous. The snakes are indigenous to the east coast of Australia. They typically eat small animals, such as rats, foxes and possums. However, the experts described an attack on a human as extremely rare.
"I've worked with snakes for well over a decade, and it's unheard of in my experience for a carpet python to attack a child," Gary Pattinson, a reptile handler for a local wildlife rescue, told The Sun-Herald.
He went on to say that the snakes are "pretty fantastic, and can eat things much larger than themselves, but there's not a chance on this planet that that snake could have eaten that child."
Additionally, Tim Faulkner, general manager of the Australian Reptile Park, said it is possible the snake may have miscalculated the child's size.
"The snake wouldn't usually go for a food item that big, but it would comfortably swallow a brush-tailed possum, or something like that, which is about the same size as a small child's head," Faulkner said. "If the snake couldn't see the rest of the body — see it with heat sensitivity and the rest — it might have miscalculated how big the little fellow was."
He concluded that Friday's incident was "a freak accident on the snake's behalf."
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