World

5-year-old boy rescued after huge python grabs his ankle and drags him into pool, father says

A pleasant afternoon swimming in the backyard of a New South Wales home turned horrifying this week after a man said his 5-year-old son had been attacked by a huge python.

Speaking to Australian radio show 3AW on Thursday, Byron Bay resident Ben Blake said his two sons had been swimming in the family’s inground pool on Wednesday. His 5-year-old son, Beau Blake, had gotten out of the water and was walking along the edge of the pool next to the garden when the incident happened.

“Suddenly a python probably 10 feet long decided to wrap his mouth around his ankle and they both rolled into the pool and the python wrapped around him,” Blake said.

Blake said he thinks the python was “sitting there waiting for something to come up”.

“And Beau it was,” he said.

The next few minutes passed in a flash. Suddenly, Blake said, he saw the snake emerge, and the next thing he knew, the snake was “wrapped completely around” his son’s leg and they spiraled into the pool. He later told Australian news outlet 9 News that the python had wrapped itself “from the bite to its knee joint”.

That’s when his 76-year-old father literally stepped in to save the day. Within seconds he was in the pool, grabbed both the boy and the snake, still entwined, and handed them to Ben. The father separated the two after about 15 to 20 seconds, he said, “it was a bit of an ordeal.”

“I just grabbed it as close to the head as I could, squeezed and pulled,” Ben Blake told 9 News.

The boy was attacked just days before his sixth birthday, his father said, but is fine after his father and grandfather told him the snake was not venomous.

“He’s an absolute trooper,” said Ben Blake.

The family is now just monitoring the bites on Beau’s ankle to make sure there is no infection.

While New South Wales and Australia as a whole are known for their creepy creatures, including pythons, Blake said the incident was out of the norm. It’s unclear what type of python attacked the boy, but there are 15 species of python on the continent, according to the organization Backyard Buddies.

“A big python lurking in the bushes right next to the pool – not so much,” he said of incidents like this.

The family eventually released the snake shortly after attacking the child, but even after that ordeal, Blake said “the naughty thing” didn’t slip far. He even said it “went back to the scene of the crime”.

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