One of the longest snakes ever found in the world has died shortly after it was captured in Malaysia. The reticulated python passed in mysterious circumstances.
The reptile passed away on Sunday just three days after it was found at a construction site on the island of Penang, Malaysia. Photos and videos have emerged of the captured python being stretched out and manhandled by groups of people.
Python comes in just short of world record
Original reports claimed that the python was the largest ever found, but it was later measured at 24 feet, 7 inches. That makes it 7 inches shorter than the actual record holder.
A spokesman for the Malaysian civil defense force has a macabre theory as to why the snake may have died. “Maybe she committed suicide. Maybe she felt threatened so she killed herself,” Shazree Mustapha said, according to various reports.
However other people have written off that theory. Snake expert Raymond Hoser claims that snakes do not kill themselves and the reptile could have suffered injuries when it was captured.
“Snakes don’t just drop dead. If they die there is a reason,” he told the Guardian. “The most likely reason is injuries sustained when caught or after being caught. Snakes are relatively delicate animals,” said Hoser, who runs snake handling courses in Australia.
Humans blamed for death of snake in Malaysia
According to Hoser the python could have had bones broken or suffered internal bleeding after a noose was forced around its neck. In one video a man can be seen kicking the python in an apparent attempt to get it to move.
Malaysian authorities claim that they were going to transfer the python to the Department of Wildlife before it died. Scientists later found that the snake was about to lay eggs, one of which it released just before it died.
A civil defense official said that the capture and the mistreatment likely compounded the stress of laying eggs. Muhammad Aizat said the python laid one egg, before going “quiet”.
Record holding snake lives in haunted house in Kansas City
The current world record holder for the longest snake captured is a reticulated python in Missouri. It has grown to 25 feet, 2 inches and lives in a haunted house in Kansas City.
Medusa, as the snake is known, is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest snake ever in captivity. Medusa weighs 158.8 kilograms, whereas the Malaysian python clocked in at 250 kilograms, according to spokesman Mustapha.
Although the python does not seem to have beaten the world record, it is a real shame that the mishandling of the creature caused its demise. The photos and videos show construction workers and civil defense officials carrying the python around as if it were a toy.
This may have stressed the animal out, but the fact that at least one man kicked it provides further evidence that humans were responsible for its death. Personally I wouldn’t have fancied picking up a huge constrictor whether it had a noose around its neck or not.
If you want to see the longest snake in captivity head down to The Edge of Hell haunted house in Kansas City, where you can ogle Medusa. Hopefully the next time a huge snake is found in the wild it is treated properly so that it can be studied by experts rather than manhandles by people who have no idea what they are doing.