An Indonesian man left his village Sunday to harvest palm oil, the BBC reported, but after he had been missing for 24 hours, a search party from Salubiro on the island of Sulawesi was sent out.
Soon, they found a reported 23-foot-long reticulated python, the BBC said. The New York Times reported that the shape of shoes were visible below the surface of its belly.
The villagers chased the python and killed it, the Times said. Then video was taken as they slowly sliced open the snake, revealing the body of the missing man, the Times added. He was a 25-year-old named Akbar, the BBC reported.
Villagers heard shouting on the day of the attack, the Times reported, citing a village official named Junaedi who briefed the media Tuesday. But the official said it was assumed the shouting was just someone hunting pigs, and there were no cries for help, the paper said.
Pythons capture their prey using their long teeth and then kill by constricting. Reticulated pythons — which can grow to more than 30 feet in length, LiveScience said — have reportedly been known to attack humans, according to the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
“Pythons are nonvenomous ambush predators,” wildlife biologist Sara E. Viernum told LiveScience. “Some species are capable of swimming and may lie partially submerged in shallow water waiting for prey to visit the water body.”
Wahdi Azmi, director of wildlife studies on the veterinary faculty of Syiah Kuala University in the Banda Aceh Province, told the Times the recent attack was “a rare case of a python eating a person."
Here's video of the python being cut open. (Content warning: Graphic images):