AN Indonesian woman has been found in the gut of a giant python after the swollen snake was captured near where she vanished while working her vegetable garden, police have said.
The body of 54-year-old Wa Tiba was found on Friday when villagers cut open the seven-metre 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 slit open and the body of the female victim was found inside.”
Some 100 residents, including worried relatives, launched a frantic search for the woman after she failed to return from her garden on Thursday night.
Hamka said villagers found the giant python lying about 30 metres from Ms 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 a variety of snakes, Hamka added.
Giant python snakes, which regularly exceed six metres, are commonly found in Indonesia and the Philippines.
While the snakes have been known to attack small animals, attempts to eat people are rare.
In March 2017, a farmer was killed by a python in the village of Salubiro on Sulawesi island.
Originally published as Missing woman eaten whole by python