A 54-year-old mother from the Southeast Sulawesi province in Indonesia was discovered inside the belly of a giant python measuring 23 feet (seven meters) in length, reports Fox News.
The woman was named Wa Tiba and was a resident of the village on Muna Island. The news of her horrific death broke on Saturday, when the village chief, Faris — who, like many Indonesian people, only goes by one name — told the media that Wa Tiba had gone missing on June 14.
When the locals noticed that she never made it home from her vegetable garden near the village, a search party of close to 100 people, including distraught family members, went off to look for her, notes the Daily Mail.
The woman’s relatives searched the garden for any sign of Wa Tiba, but all that they could find were a few of her belongings, including a pair of sandals, a flashlight, and a machete.
The very next day, the locals were shocked to stumble upon the large serpent lying a mere 50 yards from Wa Tiba’s garden. Because the enormous reptile had a swollen belly, the search party suspected that the animal had attacked and eaten Wa Tiba.
In order to find out what happened to the missing woman, the locals decided to kill the 23-foot-long python and cut open its abdomen.
“Residents were suspicious the snake swallowed the victim, so they killed it, then carried it out of the garden,” the local police chief, Hamka, said in a statement. “The snake’s belly was cut open and the body of the victim was found inside.”
Macabre footage posted online shows the villagers dissecting the serpent’s stomach with what appears to be a machete and cutting out the woman’s lifeless body, Newsweek reports. Some of the horrific footage has been publicized by the British media outlet Express and by the New York Post.
Faris told the press that Wa Tiba’s body was found intact and fully clothed.
“Everyone cried and was in shock. That poor woman. It looked like a horror movie. The people are terrified, afraid to go outside,” local villager Ayu Kartika told the journalists.
While python attacks on human rarely occur, the area where Wa Tiba built her garden is located in a known snake habitat. The vegetable garden stands at the base of a rocky cliff, which harbors a large number of caves where snakes are known to dwell, notes Hamka.
Last year, a 25-year-old Indonesian farmer from a remote village on the island of West Sulawesi shared the same fate as Wa Tiba. The farmer fell prey to a 23-foot reticulated python and was discovered in a similar manner at the end of March 2017.
According to Prof. Harry Greene from Cornell University in New York, who commented on last year’s gruesome incident in an interview for USA Today, a large python could kill a human in a matter of minutes, by coiling around their body and asphyxiating its victim.
A serpent of this size would only need about an hour to swallow a human body, states the media outlet.
“It would be extremely difficult for me to save my life without help,” Greene said. “It wouldn’t take very long and it would be awful.”