Police who were searching for a farmer who vanished Sunday in Indonesia found him after villagers cut open a 23-foot reticulated python who apparently swallowed the 25-year-old, according to multiple reports.
Family members reported Akbar, who goes by one name, as is common in Indonesia, missing on Sunday after he failed to return from a trip to the family’s palm oil plantation on the island of Sulawesi, AFP reported.
Authorities found his body Monday after residents spotted the swollen python awkwardly slithering in the village of Salubiro, according to AFP. The python was near the plantation owned by Akbar’s family.
“We were immediately suspicious that the snake had swallowed Akbar because around the site we found palm fruit, his harvesting tool and a boot,” Junaidi, a senior village official, told AFP.
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Police spokesman Mashura told BBC Indonesia that villagers spotted the python in a ditch.
“They grew suspicious that maybe the snake had Akbar,” Mashura said. “When they cut it open, Akbar was inside the snake.”
Junaidi told AFP that the snake appeared to have swallowed Akbar whole. The death is the only known such fatality in the region, he said.
It’s unusual for snakes to attempt to eat people. Brawijaya University’s Nia Kurniawan told BBC Indonesia that pythons of a similar size typically hunt boars and other large prey. They stay away from human settlements for the most part, Kurniawan said, but “would see palm oil plantations as a good hunting ground.”