A family in Australia jumped into action when a 10-foot long snake managed to slither into their home and attack a young boy.
Tamara, mother of six-year-old Tyler, woke up to blood-curdling screams only to discover that an enormous python had wrapped itself around her son and was biting his face.
“It was a terrifying scream and I didn’t know what had happened,” she told The Nambucca Guardian. “I certainly didn’t think it involved a snake. I have no idea how it even got into the house.”
During the incident, which could only be described as a “nightmare,” Tamara was forced to roll her son over in order to pull him away from the snake’s grasp. Tyler appeared to still be mostly asleep and struggled to cooperate.
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“Tyler doesn’t remember anything - which is the best part,” Tamara said.
About five minutes later, relatives arrived at the house to deal with the animal while Tamara and Tyler went to the hospital.
“He was only complaining about his finger hurting,” Tamara said. He tapped his head on the way to hospital and he asked me why he was bleeding. He wouldn’t know that a snake had bitten him if we hadn’t told him or if people hadn’t been talking about it.”
While at the hospital, a friend of the family sent Tamara a photo of her cousin holding the snake, which has since been identified as a carpet python.
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According to experts, the attack that Tyler endured is very rare among carpet pythons, which generally eat small animals such as possums or rats.
"I've worked with snakes for well over a decade, and it's unheard of in my experience for a carpet python to attack a child," Gary Pattinson, a reptile handler, told The Sydney Morning Herald.
However, experts agree that the animal may have detected the presence of potential prey while miscalculating its size.
“They have heat sensors, and they don’t think about the size of their prey,” said Steve McEwan, owner of Reptile World Coffs Harbour. “If it’s hungry it will bite anything, and if it can’t eat it, it can’t eat it.”
"The snake wouldn't usually go for a food item that big, but it would comfortably swallow a brush-tailed possum, or something like that, which is about the same size as a small child's head," said Tim Faulkner, general manager of the Australian Reptile Park.