Thai motorbike driver squeezed but spared in python drama

A Thai man remained unconscious in hospital after being nearly asphyxiated by a four-metre python he was transporting on a motorbike for release in a national park, police said.

Emergency workers called to a roadside Tuesday in Prachinburi province, 136 kilometres (84 miles) east of Bangkok, were shocked to discover the python tightly coiled around victim Samrauy Phonlerk, a local villager.

More than a dozen people beat the snake with sticks for over 20 minutes before the 20-kilo (44-pound) reptile released its death grip and was eventually subdued, local police Lieutenant Chumphol Buachum told AFP.

Samrauy, 43, had volunteered to release the snake in the province’s remote national park after alarmed residents caught it slithering through Prachinburi town.

He stuffed the snake into a sack and drove off, but when he stopped at an intersection the python wriggled out of the bag and attacked him.

“Samrauy lost a lot of blood because he was bitten and constricted, but he came out of the intensive care unit this morning, although he is still unconscious,” Chumphol said.

The python, of an unidentified species but believed to be native to Thailand, was later released into the jungle by relief workers.