Villagers Kill Python Thinking It Ate a Calf, Cut It Open and Realize Their Huge Mistake
Science & Tech| | By Jason Owen
Millions of people across the world (and probably some of you reading this now) are afraid of snakes. And there’s some legitimacy to those fears. In North America, of the roughly 160 types of snakes that slither along our amber waves of grain, there are 20 species that are venomous. So, the chances of running into a potentially dangerous snake isn’t all that rare.
Still, snakes often pose little threat to humans. Most snakes won’t attack a human unless it feels threatened by the person. So, most people should know that a snake will rarely do you harm. Unfortunately for villagers in a small Nigerian town, they realized too late that a huge python that slithered in wasn’t a threat and was simply trying to live its life.
One day, the villagers were surprised when a huge python wandered into town. The site of a python wasn’t surprising in itself, as the reptiles could be seen often. What worried the villagers was the snake’s enormous, bloated belly.
The snake’s belly worried villagers as they thought it had eaten a calf, which for them was a huge loss. If the python ate one, the villagers thought it could return again to take another young cow, a dog, or even attack a child.
They decided it wasn’t worth the risk and the python was killed.
The villagers decided afterwards to open the python to retrieve what ever animal it had devoured, but were completely stunned by what was inside.
It turned the snake had not eaten a calf, but instead was a pregnant python with a belly full of fertilized eggs that she had yet to lay. This species turned out to be an African rock python, which can carry dozens of eggs. They usually keep away from populated areas and look for seclusion to lay their eggs, but for whatever reason, this pregnant python had come toward the village and the story didn’t have a happy ending for the creature.
But maybe by sharing this story, you can help others learn that not all snakes pose a dangerous threat and you can help save the life of another snake one day.