Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

'Python' bites woman on night out

Sue Cull felt her legs sting as she cut across grass near her home, in Swansea

A woman had to be taken to hospital after apparently being bitten by a 10ft python as she took a short-cut home from a night out at the pub.

Sue Cull, 47, felt her legs sting as she cut across grass near her home, in Swansea, south Wales, and thought she had wandered into nettles in the dark.

But within minutes of getting home, her panicked partner was calling for the paramedics after failing to stem the blood streaming from both legs.

A stunned Ms Cull was informed by paramedics she had probably been bitten by a snake as she was being whisked to hospital in an ambulance.

They were then informed en route that police had a report of a python on the loose around that time, Ms Cull claimed.

Despite being forced to spend a night in hospital on an antibiotic drip, Ms Cull shrugged off her ordeal.

"I posted on my Facebook page 'I'm off to the pub for a shot of snakebite' this morning and everyone who goes by bibs and waves.

"I was on my way from the pub to get a take-away when it happened. I cut across the grass and felt my legs sting," said Ms Cull, of Griffith John Street.

"It bit me on the right side first and the puncture wounds there are more prominent. When I got to hospital I had to have an x-ray to ensure no fangs were left inside."

The snake attack happened late last Thursday evening and was confirmed as being a python when medics measured the three-inch puncture wound in one leg.

They had previously contacted experts at the Medical Reptile Unit in London with the information, which was used as a guide to what had caused the injury.

Paramedics had previously told her that the police were aware that a python had been reported missing in the area.

"They got on the radio and reported it to the police and the police said they had a report of an eight to 10 foot python going missing in the Eaton Road area," Ms Cull said.

Released from the city's Morriston Hospital the following day she said she felt "cold and shaken" but has since made a full recovery.

"As it happened it could have been a lot worse. Pythons are constrictors and can squeeze the life out of you.

"If I had seen it or realised what had happened I would have run for my life back to the pub. Once a python gets around you it's 'goodnight Vienna'."

She added: "I know worse things happen at sea but at the moment I have a bit of a fear of grass.

"It makes you wonder what would have happened if it had attacked a child or pensioner. Things could have been much more serious."

A police spokesman confirmed that officers received a report of a lost python in the Cwm Road area of Swansea on Thursday night at 10.44pm.

The reptile was recovered in a pipe at the owner's property at 11.17pm and was safely back in its box within 33 minutes.

"We did have a call that the snake was lost but we were called again to say it was in the house and it was back in its box," the spokesman said.

"The ambulance service took a woman to Morriston Hospital with two bites on her legs - the hospital is saying they looked like snake bites."

He added: "There's nothing on our system to say there is a snake on the loose."

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