December 29, 2003

Officials: World’s Largest Snake Caught

Indonesian villagers claim to have captured a python that is almost 49.21 feet long and weighs nearly 992.07 pounds, a local official said Monday.

If confirmed, it would be the largest snake ever kept in captivity.

Hundreds of people have flocked to see the snake at a primitive zoo in Curugsewu village on the country's main island of Java, Republika daily reported. It splashed two large pictures of the reptile across its back page.

Local government official Rachmat said the reticulated python measured 14.85 meters (49 feet) and weighed in at 447 kilograms (985 pounds).

The Guinness Book of World Records lists the longest ever captured snake to be 9.75 meters (32 feet). The heaviest - a Burmese Python kept in Gurnee, Illinois - weighs 182.76 kilograms (403 pounds), the book said on its Web site.

Rebublika said the snake, which was caught last year but only recently put on public display, eats three or four dogs a month.

Reticulated pythons are the world's longest snakes. They are capable of eating animals as large as sheep, and have been known to attack and consume humans.

The species is native to the swamps and jungles of Southeast Asia.


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