A grandad has spoken of his horror after an 11-foot-long python sunk its fangs into him after it slithered into his home through a conservatory window.
Grandfather Rob Byrne has called for “totally irresponsible” snake owners to be more careful with their pets after the male reticulated python got into his house and bit his arm.
The horrified 61-year-old made the discovery as he tried to shut the conservatory windows of his semi-detached home in Bishopstoke, near Eastleigh, Hants, and saw something moving through his blinds.
He said if the snake had attacked his two year old granddaughter who lives with the couple, “she would now be dead”.
The retired gas industry worker said: “It tried to bite me and coil around me. Its fangs nicked my arm and drew blood as it tried to sink its teeth into my arm.
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“It caught the back of my arm with one fang and the other fang got caught in my polo shirt.
“Once I shoved it away it withdrew to halfway across the conservatory, but it pinned me in the corner and it was sort of waving and looking at me.
“At that point my wife and granddaughter came into the conservatory, saw it, and screamed. That must have spooked it because it then slowly slithered back out of the window.”
The grandfather of five continued: “Luckily flight or fight kicked in and I managed to fight it off, whereupon it retreated and coiled itself from the windows and dropped slowly down into the garden.
“Adrenalin on the day made the whole experience exciting and funny but in the cold light of day I’m disturbed that had it been my two-year-old granddaughter that lives with us, instead of me, she would now be dead.
“I know there are reptile enthusiasts out there that are perfectly responsible and no problem to their neighbours or the wider public but there must be some people that are totally irresponsible for so many snakes to be on the loose.
“I did not expect to be attacked by a giant python in my own home but if it happened to me, it can happen to you.”
Mr Byrne has now written to the government asking for pythons to be placed on a list of legally controlled animals, something he says is not currently the case.
He said: “It angers me because something much worse could have happened.”
The attack comes as Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service have reported an increase in snake escapes – and warned if people can’t afford to pay for heating of their reptile’s vivarium, they do something “responsible” with their pet.
The python was eventually captured and taken to Tonbridge in Kent, where it is now being looked after at the National Centre for Reptile Welfare.
The snake’s owner has not come forward to claim it yet.
Director of the charity Chris Newman said it was “highly unusual” to find an 11ft (3.3m) python, as they majority they’ve received are between 4 and 5ft (1.2 and 1.5m).
He said: “Snakes are escape artists. You’ve only got to turn your back for a second and the snake will have disappeared and we really don’t recommend taking snakes out into the garden.”
Jim Green, from Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service, said they have had a number of reports of snakes escaping during the summer.
He said: “With austere times hitting people, there is an implication and electricity is required when you have a reptile to heat the vivarium.
“If people can’t afford to pay for the electricity, then they need to do something responsible with that pet.”
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