An Indonesian woman has been found in the belly of a giant python after the swollen snake was captured near where she vanished while tending her vegetable garden, police said Saturday.
The body of 54-year-old Wa Tiba was found Friday when villagers cut open the seven-metre (23-foot) python which was found bloated in the village of Persiapan Lawela on the island of Muna, offshore of Sulawesi.
“Residents were suspicious the snake swallowed the victim, so they killed it, then carried it out of the garden,” said local police chief Hamka, who like many Indonesians has only one name.
“The snake’s belly was cut open and the body of the victim was found inside.”
Some 100 residents, including worried relatives, launched a search for the woman after she failed to return from her garden Thursday night.
Hamka said villagers found the giant serpent lying about 30 metres from Tiba’s sandals and machete, adding she was swallowed head first and her body was found intact.
The garden in which she disappeared was at the base of a rocky cliff, pockmarked by caves, and known to be home to snakes, Hamka added.
Giant pythons, which regularly top six metres, are commonly found in Indonesia and the Philippines.
While the serpents have been known to attack small animals, attempts to eat people are rare.
In March last year, a farmer was killed by a python in the village of Salubiro on Sulawesi island.