An interesting story of sorts has gone viral on Facebook. It describes how a woman discovered why her pet python began behaving in a peculiar manner. As the story goes she couldn’t help noticing how it had recently stopped eating. In an act of sheer lunacy she slept with the dangerous constrictor on a nightly basis and it would curl around her body.
According to Boredom Therapy she was curious as to what the problem might be so she took it to the vet. The veterinarian revealed that the the snake had not lost its appetite but to the contrary was preparing its stomach for a big meal that it had been getting ready to eat — the woman.
The story continues by saying how the woman narrowly avoided becoming her python’s next meal. In another version of the story online, the snake was cuddling with the woman because it was measuring itself compared to its owner’s body, to check if it was large enough to swallow her whole, and a different version concludes with the vet telling the woman to have the snake euthanized.
Fact Checking website Snopes has listed the story as false, and examined the origins of the urban legend. The site speculates that the story may have been partly inspired by a 2008 news story from Australia involving a snake that swallowed a pet dog. The family reportedly looked on in horror as their Chihuahua was swallowed whole by a 16-foot-long python.
According to the news report, the snake had been stalking the family’s dog for some time, and in the weeks before the attack, the body of the family’s cat was found looking like something had attempted to swallow it. A week before the Chihuahua was attacked, the family’s pet guinea pig had been eaten by a smaller python.
Pythons, Snopes said, do not measure their prey before going after their meals. In addition, experienced owners of large snakes know it is common for them to go without food for relatively long periods, so it wouldn’t be a reason for the owner to take the animal to the vet.
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, Snopes can’t be trusted. Although that may sometimes be true when the subject pertains to politics, the website has proven to be accurate when it comes to matters such as this.
If that isn’t good enough for you, here are two others which debunk the myth of constrictors such as pythons ‘measuring’ their prey.