A five-year-old Australian boy has survived being bitten, constricted and dragged into a swimming pool by a python about three times his size.
Beau Blake was enjoying a swim at home when the 3m long (10ft) reptile struck, his father told a local radio station.
The pair – still entangled – were pulled from the pool by Beau’s grandfather and the boy was prised free from the animal by his dad Ben.
But Beau is in good spirits and escaped with only minor injuries.
“Once we cleaned up the blood and told him that he wasn’t going to die because it wasn’t a poisonous snake… he was pretty good actually,” his father Ben told Melbourne radio station 3AW on Friday about the incident that happened a day earlier.
“He’s an absolute trooper,” Ben added, saying the family – who are based in the coastal town of Byron Bay in New South Wales – would monitor the bite wounds for signs of infection.
Despite the lucky escape, the dramatic saga was still quite “an ordeal”, he said.
“[Beau] was just walking around the edge [of the pool]… and I believe the python was sort of sitting there waiting for a victim to come along… and Beau was it.”
“I saw a big black shadow come out of the bush and before they hit the bottom, it was completely wrapped around his leg.”
With “no self-preservation whatsoever”, Beau’s 76-year-old grandfather Allan jumped in the pool and passed the boy and snake to Ben.
“I’m not a little lad… [so] I had him released within 15-20 seconds,” Ben said.
Ben then held on to the python for about 10 minutes as he desperately tried to calm his children and his father, before releasing the snake back into the vegetation.
“He went back to the scene of the crime, the naughty thing.”
Ben told the radio station pythons were a fact of life in the area, about 8 hours north of Sydney, saying “look…it is Australia”.