By Jackson Mvunganyi
17 April 2009
The phone call came in the early morning hours. Daniel Nyassy a local reporter in Malinda District in Kenya's Coast province was summoned by the local police chief. The story; a local farmer bites python in an hour long battle of survival. The victim of the snake attack is local farmer Ben Nyaumbe.
He was preparing dinner when the python attacked him and coiled itself around him in a death grip.
The farmer who according to Nyassy was visibly shaken and bruised recounted the hallowing details of the attack. The area farmers are used the pythons. They usually come looking for goats and chicken. This time the farmer was the victim of the attack.
Farm manager Ben Nyaumbe recounted that he was dragged up the tree as he struggled to free himself. He then got the idea to bite the snake. He told Nyassy that the python "waggled its tail on my mouth. I had to bite it as I struggled, one hand incapacitated,"
He was able to free his hand to make a phone call to his boss, who responded with two police officers. The snake was then taken to the police station whereupon it was transferred to a local snake farm. Kenya wildlife authority prohibits the killing of the snakes "unless it bites someone" Nyassy says.
"Malindi has multiple snake farms where the snakes are reared for commercial purposes" says Nyassy.
By the time he went to visit the snake farm, the python had escaped. "Surprising enough the snake was nowhere to be seen" He says. According to rumor around the area, it is very likely that the snake was earlier in the day sold on the burgeoning black market in python skin. "It is likely that it had escaped from its owner." He adds
"I am surprised at the amount of attention the story has received…given that here in Kenya,snake attacks are a common thing" He says. Still the story has taken on a life of its own,with lots of interest by internet readers touting the courage of the farmer.