A woman found out why her beloved pet snake had been acting strangely in a story that has been going viral on Facebook.
A woman who slept with her pet snake every night noticed the animal had stopped eating recently, and took it to the vet to find out the cause of her pet's change in behavior, according to a post from Boredom Therapy. The snake, a large python, would sleep in bed with her, curling around her body.
When the snake's owner took it to the vet, the doctor revealed a shocking piece of information. The snake's appetite hadn't gone away, in fact, the vet said, it was preparing its stomach for a big meal that it had been getting ready to eat -- the woman.
Thanks to the vet, the story goes, the woman narrowly avoided becoming her python's next meal. In another version of the story online, the snake was cuddling with the woman because it was measuring itself compared to its owner's body, to check if it was large enough to swallow her whole, and a different version concludes with the vet telling the woman to have the snake euthanized.
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Debunking site Snopes has listed the story as false, and examined the origins of the urban legend. The site speculates that the story may have been partly inspired by a 2008 news story from Australia involving a snake that swallowed a pet dog. The family reportedly looked on in horror as their Chihuahua was swallowed whole by a 16-foot-long python.
According to the news report, the snake had been stalking the family's dog for some time, and in the weeks before the attack, the body of the family's cat was found looking like something had attempted to swallow it. A week before the Chihuahua was attacked, the family's pet guinea pig had been eaten by a smaller python.
Pythons, Snopes said, do not measure their prey before going after their meals. In addition, experienced owners of large snakes know it is common for them to go without food for relatively long periods, so it wouldn't be a reason for the owner to take the animal to the vet.