Man vs python… villager in hospital as neighbours barbecue snake

man vs python
Villagers prepare the giant snake for a feast, while the man who first tried to catch it remains in hospital. Picture by Police Chief Sutarja

A man vs python encounter in Indonesia ended with a man in hospital while his neighbours barbecued and ate the 21ft monster.

Robert Nababan, aged 37, of Riau province claimed he had wrestled with the snake before it latched on to his arm.


Speaking from his hospital bed, he told local journalists that he first saw the python as he was driving home on his motorcycle from his job as a security guard at a palm oil plantation near his village on Sunday (October 1).

He was unable to give any further details after his family said he was too ill to continue with the interview.

Now however, several days after the incident, local police say they have pieced together what happened in the epic encounter of man vs python.


According to the chief of Batang Gangsal police, known only as Sutarja, Robert called his friends after seeing the python lying on the road.

man vs python
Robert Nababan was rushed to hospital after his encounter with the snake

A group of them gathered to catch the python, and Robert was given the job of immobilising the snake’s head.

Mr Sutarja said: “When Robert tried to cover the snake’s head with a sack, the snake retaliated. The snake bit his arm.

“The victim tried to get free, but the snake tightened its bite. The snake even tried to grip him. Several of Robert’s friends tried to help him. Soon after, the snake released its bite,” Sutarja told the Kompas news group.

A lucky escape…

While some of Robert’s friends took him to hospital, the others remained to finished off the snake.

“The snake was fried to be eaten,” Mr Sutarja said. “The victim often catches snakes.”

Robert remains in hospital. Doctors say he has a severed tendon in his left arm from the snake’s bite.

However, it could have been worse for Robert. In March we reported how a 25-year-old man on the island of Sulawesi was found dead in the belly of a 23ft python.

Other dangerous animals in the region include saltwater crocodiles. Last month we reported how a shaman was taken by a croc while attempted to recover the body of a previous victim.

Both animals are also found in the Philippines. In August, we reported how a Cebu man found a huge python in his house after the mysterious disappearance of a litter of puppies. Then, last month, we shared a video of a 17ft crocodile being captured off Tawi-Tawi island.

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