Python attacks Australian toddler

AFP-JIJI

An Australian toddler had a lucky escape after being attacked by a python that wrapped itself around the sleeping child’s arm and then began constricting and biting the infant.

Snake handler Tex Tillis said the 2-year-old girl’s mother woke at 3 a.m. Saturday to find the 1.85 meter reptile attached to her child as they lay in bed in Lismore, about 600 km north of Sydney.

“She saw three coils of what looked like a snake around her baby’s arm. She naturally freaked, but with presence of mind . . . she went for what she thought was the snake’s head,” Tillis said Monday.

But in the dark, the mother mistakenly grabbed the snake below its head, so that when the animal panicked it had enough room to attack.

“It immediately started to constrict the baby’s arm and to bite the baby,” he said. “The mother then very, very courageously. . . pulled the snake off the baby.”

Tillis said the mother did not know the snake was nonvenomous when she ripped it off her child and flung it into the corner of the room. The toddler was taken to hospital but suffered only three superficial wounds, said Tillis, adding that he later took the reptile to visit the child and her mother, who named it Cecil.