An unnamed snake charmer from the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh reportedly cheated death at a recent live performance, as the python he was handling strangled him during the show.
According to a report from the Independent, the performer, who was not identified by name, was holding a show in the town of Mau, Uttar Pradesh, when the python he was handling coiled itself around his neck. As the snake continued to tighten its grip on the man, the crowd remained unaware, thinking that the snake charmer’s calm demeanor was part of the show. At that point, he was reportedly beckoning audience members to come closer, wrote Fox News.
It was only when the Indian snake charmer fell on his knees and looked like he was having a hard time breathing that people realized that something was wrong. The man reportedly tried to force the python off of him, and soon appeared to be unconscious as he toppled onto the ground, unable to free himself from the snake for the past minute or so. Concerned bystanders were then able to get the python off by sprinkling water on it.
Three men then rushed the snake charmer to a nearby hospital in the town of Varanasi. As of this writing, the performer’s condition is still unknown.
The incident with the Indian snake charmer comes several months following a case where a British exotic pet owner was reportedly killed by his pet python. According to The Guardian, 31-year-old Dan Brandon died in August 2017, with officials concluding that he had been asphyxiated by Tiny, his eight-foot-long African rock python. Northeast Hampshire coroner Andrew Bradley was quoted by the publication as saying the python was “instrumental” in what appeared to be Brandon’s accidental death.
Four years prior to that incident, two Canadian brothers, 6-year-old Connor and 4-year-old Noah Barthe, were killed by a 100-pound African rock python that crashed through the ceiling of a house the boys were staying in, and strangled the two brothers as they slept, as noted by HuffPost U.K.
Although it has been well-documented that pythons could attack, or even kill humans, as shown by the aforementioned cases, such instances are relatively rare, said Los Angeles Zoo curator of reptiles and amphibians Ian Recchio, in a 2013 interview with National Geographic. He said that pythons could attack humans “if the circumstances are just right,” even if their targets are too large to swallow.