Woman Found Dead Inside a Python Snake After Being Reported Missing in South Sulawesi, Indonesia

Including this incident, there are at least four instances where a giant reticulated python preyed on human, in Sulawesi Island, Indonesia.
A giant reticulated python in captivity. (Photo: Gunawan Kartapranata/Openverse)

A tragic incident occurred in Kalempang Village, Pitu Riawa District, Sidrap Regency, South Sulawesi, where a woman was found dead inside a python snake. The victim, initially reported missing, was identified as Farida, a 50-year-old farmer.

"Farida, a female farmer from our village, was reported missing after failing to return home," said Fendy Topan, a relative of the victim, on Friday, June 7, 2024, as quoted by Kompas.

A viral NSFW video on X (formerly known as Twitter) allegedly related to this case, shows a giant python with a bulging stomach. The snake was then cut open to rescue the deceased victim. Due to the disturbing nature of the video, NusantaraPol choose not to show it.

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Farida had left her home on Thursday, June 6, 2024, around 9:00 AM Central Indonesian Time, to sell her harvest of chili and cocoa and to exchange an empty propane tank.

Her husband, Noni (55), began searching for her the following day after she did not return home. He found her belongings in the plantation area and sought help from the villagers to find her.

The village head of Kalempang, Suardi Rosi, explained that another couple working in the plantation had also discovered Farida's belongings while heading back to the village. The items were reported to the villagers, and a search party was organized.

During the search, villagers came across a python with a noticeably swollen stomach. Suspecting that the snake had swallowed something significant, they decided to cut open the python and found Farida's body inside.

The size of the python is estimated to be five to seven meters.

"The villagers who tracked the python were Ali Sofyan and Ammang. They opened the python and found Farida's body inside," said Suardi. Her remains were then transported to her home in Pangkajenne, Sidrap, for burial.

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Previous Incidents of Human Predation by Pythons in Indonesia

This incident is not the first of its kind in Indonesia. There have been several other tragic cases involving pythons:

Mamuju, 2017: Akbar, a 25-year-old farmer, was found dead inside an at least four-meter-long python in Salubiro Village, Karossa District, Central Mamuju, West Sulawesi. Akbar had gone missing after heading to his oil palm plantation. Villagers found him inside the python after noticing the snake's unusually large stomach.

Muna, 2018: Wa Tiba, a 54-year-old woman from Lawela Village, Lohia District, Muna Regency, Southeast Sulawesi, was found dead inside a seven-meter-long python. She had gone missing while heading to her garden.

South Konawe, 2023: Rasmin, a resident of Telutu Jaya Village, Tinanggea District, South Konawe, Southeast Sulawesi, was found dead with his head already inside an eight-meter-long python's mouth. He had been checking on his livestock when the incident occurred.

The reticulated python (Python reticulatus), which is native to almost all of Indonesia except Papua, is known to prey on large mammals that can be up to ten times the size of their mouths. These snakes ambush their prey using heat sensors and kill by constriction, causing death by suffocation or cardiac arrest.

Reticulated pythons do not chew their food; they swallow it whole. Their jaws are connected by extremely flexible ligaments, allowing them to stretch wide enough to consume large prey. However, the human shoulder blades can pose a challenge to their swallowing process.

With human activities encroaching on their habitats and their natural prey becoming scarce, pythons may attack humans if they cross paths. According to experts, pythons often wait in trees and drop onto their prey to begin constriction. 

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