Boy survives python attack
Wednesday 4 Jan 2012 3:26 p.m.
By Rachel Morton
The mother of an Australian two-year-old has spoken about the terrifying moment she found a four-metre snake wrapped around her son.
Kye Dalton was playing outside his home in Port Douglas in North Queensland when the python latched onto his leg and wrapped around his small body.
Two-year-old Kye isn't afraid of getting up close to pythons, despite nearly being killed by one just over a week ago.
"To actually have a snake wrapped around your child is the worst thing I've ever seen," says his mother.
Kye was playing in the garage of his home when the carpet snake bit him and wrapped around him.
"He just kept repeating. 'Mummy, a snake bit me, Mummy, a snake bit me.'"
Pythons aren't poisonous - they kill their prey by crushing them.
"The snake could have, I think, definitely killed the little boy," says Dr Richard Kidd.
"If there hadn't been adults around, maybe even swallowed him."
Luckily for Kye there were adults around. His mum tried to remove the snake but it was too strong, so she ran to neighbour Scott Tunnie for help.
"I asked her where's he been bitten and she just handed me the boy saying he's still being bitten," says Tunnie.
He also struggled to remove it.
"I just thought well, I'll go for it, and reached down and grabbed the snake behind the head, hoping it would actually release."
Although the snake was off the boy, it took two men to get the snake off Mr Tunnie.
"My fingers were starting to actually go numb from it," he says.
The ordeal wasn't over for little Kye either - on the way to hospital he stopped breathing. It was five minutes before he was revived, and he was lucky his injuries weren't worse.
"Pythons crush their prey to death, so this little boy, if the snake had continued would have crushed, injured broken ribs and would have been crushed to the point there would have been torn organs," says Dr Kidd.
Snake handler Clare Anderson says the python was more likely striking out in fear than hunger.
"Like most wild creatures they fear the unknown, so they will strike out in fear," she says.
Amazingly, Kye is fine physically and emotionally.
And while he's not afraid of getting close to a snake again, his mum isn't so keen.