Massive python ‘drags' young boy in terrifying attack

Discussion in 'Reptile News' started by Flaviemys purvisi, Dec 20, 2019.

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  1. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    toowoomba_thechronicle-444zwztor43aoy1zsp2_t210.png
    by Thomas Chamberlin
    20th Dec 2019
    v3imagesbin15ec1554f16a66d8e87ae0978c9ad177-9unuzeglu3ox2dusit2_ct1880x930.jpg
    Evan Thompson says his son Clifford was attacked by a carpet python at their Airlie Beach home. Picture: Evan Thompson


    A QUEENSLAND man has spoken of the terrifying moment a snake attacked his four-year-old son and tried to "drag him away" at their family home.

    Evan Thompson was with friends at his Airlie Beach house when he said a scrub python attacked his son Clifford about 5.45pm yesterday, while they were walking across an outdoor boardwalk from the pool to the house.

    The family just bought the property and moved in five days ago.

    "I heard my son screaming," Mr Thompson told The Courier-Mail.

    "I ran out to him and saw this massive snake on his leg, dragging him off the boardwalk.

    "He was hanging on to the side-rail post for his life.

    "If I wasn't there at the time, this snake could have killed him.

    "It could have killed my kid easily."

    v3imagesbinbf7aa10d0c44832d90f3268bfb417aae-xr4s41m6gnkfkbusit2_t1880.jpg
    Clifford recovering in hospital after his terrifying ordeal. Picture: Evan Thompson


    Mr Thompson said he ran up to the snake and punched it in the head.

    "It let him go and then it bit him again," he said.

    "He (Clifford) was really distressed.

    "I couldn't get it off so I had to pry it's jaws open.

    "It was in the garden, we had to kill it with a sledgehammer."


    Mr Thompson said his son was taken to Proserpine Hospital and then on to Mackay Hospital and has undergone surgery on his leg.
    v3imagesbin5cbe4a7a063928ac5599da237ded7d3a-qxzxnpuak7600cusit2_t1880.jpg
    Some of the injuries Clifford Thompson suffered. Picture: Evan Thompson

    v3imagesbinea15495f7f8b9c30e9f7fbae5e45ff79-3beb281endmobcusit2_t1880.jpg
    Evan Thompson finally killed the snake with a sledgehammer after it attacked his son. Picture: Evan Thompson


    He said he believed the snake was 15 foot (4.5 metres). The ordeal lasted about five minutes.

    "The fact that the snake was so large, it was literally pulling him off the boardwalk

    he's hanging on the rail and it's just dragging him, ripping his leg open and that's when I knew I just had to act,"
    he said.

    "It's ripped his leg pretty badly, I put a dressing on his leg and a tourniquet to immobilise his leg.

    "It's a pretty hectic situation.

    "I was talking to the doctors and nurses and they say they've never seen anything like this.

    "It was probably one of the biggest ones I've ever seen, they are not renowned for being so ballsy."

    v3imagesbin4567386f5ca79d370999108b62ed7a81-wg9hlw9irx79rcusit2_t1880.jpg
    Evan Thompson with Clifford Clifford in hospital following the attack. Picture: Evan Thompson


    Mr Thompson said he was telling his son's story as a warning to other families.

    "This is the last thing you would think is going to happen," he said.

    "It could happen to other children.

    "It was quite brutal.

    "I pretty much had to manhandle the snake.

    "He's seen snakes before (but) it was pretty much trying to eat him, so a pretty traumatic ordeal."

    "He's doing alright today. It bit him twice. He's a tough little bugger."
     
  2. MattPat

    MattPat Not so new Member

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    Farrrrrrrrrrrr
     
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  3. danyjv

    danyjv Active Member

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    Poor kid would of been terrifying .
    Doubt he’ll forget this any time soon.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Active Member

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    Wouldn’t a python coil around the kid, rather than try to drag him away?
    And why is there a massive injury near the snake’s tail? Looks like it was hit while trying to escape?
     
  5. nuttylizardguy

    nuttylizardguy Well-Known Member

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    My first thought when I read this was BS.

    More likely it lashed out in defense when this guy started laying into it and the kid was bitten at random.

    But that doesn't make for a compelling and frightening enough story now does it ?
     
  6. Herptology

    Herptology Well-Known Member

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    9/10 can guarantee the guy got his kid out, and THEN attacked the snake
     
  7. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    Some parts of the story may have been changed, the size is presumably exaggerated, but clearly the snake did attack the kid, almost certainly the child was ambushed; it's extremely unlikely the kid would have gone up and harassed this snake. Large Scrub Pythons routinely eat sizeable wallabies/kangaroos the size of small human children and every now and again pictures of it get passed around, sometimes going viral. Kangaroos and wallabies don't go up and harass Scrub Pythons, and Scrub Pythons do use strategies to catch mammals of that size. It's literally what they routinely do. Generally the prey is attacked before it knows the snake was there. When it's a kangaroo we all admire the snake and say ooh, aah, what an impressive predator, so awesome, I love it. When it's a human kid some people say 'Na ah, I don't believe it, because... nah, bullshit'. The reason of course is because it goes against the bullshit narrative snake people tell each other, that snakes are harmless unless provoked.

    Yes, most likely the father injured the snake during the process of removing it from his son (also mildly injuring his son in the process as we can see in the pictures) and sure, presumably it was unnecessarily finished off after the snake had already been removed. We like snakes and wouldn't do this but it's what 99% of people do after an animal attacks another human and either kills them or would have killed them without assistance being given. The snake was probably already fatally injured by that point anyway. And yes, some of us here would have been quite capable of removing the snake without hurting it and with far less damage to the child. Having said that, a large Scrub Python can be difficult to wrangle, I've been wrapped up by one which would have been able to kill me if I hadn't had two competent snake handlers right there (I was removing ticks from it for research and wasn't trying to avoid being wrapped up, because I knew the other two were there, and the snake wasn't in any way harmed, neither was I), and a friend of mine who was a better snake handler than anyone in this thread including myself was killed by a Scrub Python, so we can't be too critical of a complete layman dealing with a Scrub Python like this when it attacks his toddler.
     
  8. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    ^^ This. Spot on.

    My favourite part of the news story :
    "Mr Thompson said he ran up to the snake and punched it in the head."
    It just doesn't get more Aussie / blokey than that...
     
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  9. cement

    cement Subscriber Subscriber APS Veteran

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    "It was probably one of the biggest ones I've ever seen, they are not renowned for being so ballsy."

    This is probably the only part I find misleading, scrubbies are well known for their strength and lethal ability to severely injure and kill, especially large ones. They can have a short fuse when it comes to free handling, aren't afraid to bite out of self defence if you get too close, even without physically touching them and dealing with large ones can be a lesson in BJJ if your on your own.

    It can take a fair effort to snap a python out of its food response, and I see no reason to doubt that the Dad was freaking out and did what he felt he had to do. Theres a reason why staff at zoo's that look after the big pythons don't go into the enclosures without all protocol in place, in the case of a food response attack, including killing the snake in the most dire situations.

    I'm not saying that this was possible here (obviously not on the radar for a dad with limited snake ability, when confronted with the possibility of death of his son), but the best way to switch a snake off its food related response is to change what it is smelling or tasting, so in a scenario like this, even a weak or frail grandma can save the child by getting a good dose of something like alcohol, beer, wine or spirits or some other strong, repugnant liquid over the animals face especially the nostrils, and over the skin of the victim around the bite (where it has got hold). Theres no doubt this child would have been killed if left alone here, 4.5-5 m is approx 15feet, and its 15 ft of muscle.

    A spray in the face with the right solution will make it back off, more spray if it shows sign of coming back, until it retreats enough to get everyone out of range, once its food response is switched off it should feel threatened and retreat.. Brains and knowledge can replace brute strength easily.
     
  10. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    Whilst true cement, in the heat of the moment, no one is rushing back into their house to grab a spray or spirit to attempt to deter the snake... It's a fight or flight situation and when your child is in the mix it's always going to be a fight. 9/10 blokes in this situation would have done the exact same thing, the other would have fainted.
     
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  11. cement

    cement Subscriber Subscriber APS Veteran

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    In the interests of not starting the same thing you did last time, lets see....I have no idea why you bothered to post this, no help offered, no experienced knowledge
    to educate the public with...... why bother??

    Whilst true cement, (How do you know ?? are you telling me you have enough experience with snakes to have done this in the past and so believe it to be true? )

    in the heat of the moment, no one is rushing back into their house to grab a spray or spirit to attempt to deter the snake ( If people are uneducated and have no idea of what can work, it becomes a s$#t fight. You might be surprised pal just how many people remain calm under fire and DO think of methods that can work, especially if they have been educated, like on the off chance, reading a post here. There could easily be some form of alcohol found around a pool on a hot day with kids and parents enjoying the pool, there could be insect repellant, sunscreen etc)
    It's a fight or flight situation and when your child is in the mix it's always going to be a fight. 9/10 blokes in this situation would have done the exact same thing, the other would have fainted. (Thanks for the obvious.I have not said that the "blokes" did anything wrong or out of the ordinary.
    If you can't accept that I ONLY ever post to try to educate the general public on methods on how to deal with snakes and their natural instinctive behaviour, then thanks for trying to sabotage my attempts at getting across methods that will work on these animals that the general public know little about.
    Its only in this case that there were guys there, what if Like I posted, it was only an elderly woman or man, who may well have been overwhelmed by the strength of the python as well????? Someone would now be dead because of a lack of knowledge. Stop being a compulsive commentator with nothing of value to comment on. Here's a tip...... before you hit the post reply button, read you're comment and if its not educational, ie contains no ACTUAL personal knowledge from experience....... don't post. If it does contain genuine knowledge then by all means post it. Trust me, if your gonna follow everything I post, and reply to it with assumption's and just what you think is or will happen, you are getting in the way of education, which is highly important due to the lack of it with these animals.)
     
  12. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    For starters, you commenting on a thread of mine is hardly me following you to comment on everything you say...
    Essay aside, the fact remains no one is going to do as you said. This bloke's response is typical of a fight or flight reaction. Not trying to "sabotage your reputation" or get in the way of you "educating the masses" or anything else you claim. If a massive python got a hold of average Joe's kid or pet then the python is going to die... the only variation being the method in which it's dispatched... the only reason someone is running back inside to grab some form of chemical solution to "deter the snake" is if it's flammable so they can set the thing on fire.

    Your valiant attempts to sway public opinion unfortunately ultimately amount to nought in today's age... people just simply don't care and evidence of that is seen every day. You obviously do not read half as many stories in the news regarding wildlife that I do... The average person's priorities are not with conserving/preserving wildlife, it's centred on self preservation and preservation of the things they hold dear. No one gives a damn about getting a snake to let go of their child so it can slither away in peace... blame what you want for this, social media, the dumbing down of a generation, movies like anaconda, whatever... call it/me what you will... people outside reptile forums don't share the same views we do. No I'm not fighting with you, I'm just telling it like it is... fisherman kill turtles every day... I hate it, can I stop it? No... petitioned the QLD government to ban stainless steel fish hooks and various nets... has it stopped?? No. People are gonna do what they do regardless of your education attempts.

    I was actually speaking to a bloke in his late 50's a couple of days ago who is part indigenous Australian who commented on another forum in regards to a young girl who was bitten by a tiger snake and is recovering in hospital... he is absolutely 110% adamant that ALL snakes, venomous and non venomous should be exterminated and wiped off the continent. The amount of supporters he had sharing that same opinion was incredible. I disagree entirely with that sentiment but what I think and know means nothing when 300 other people have their torches and pitchforks out... you can only educate those who WANT to be educated and "snakes" is a topic that you're gonna be paddling up s**t creek without a paddle for eternity trying to "educate people". Yes I know you're gonna say you've already changed the minds of 5000 people... well I believe you... but you're still pushing s**t up hill no matter what. Good luck with it though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2019
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  13. cement

    cement Subscriber Subscriber APS Veteran

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    Yeah........ Thats pretty disappointing viewpoint. Complete contradiction of your own new APS signature even.

    If someone has knowledge and a method that works, it should be made public, no matter wether it makes the 6 o clock news or is a simple post on a public forum that might only be seen by a small % of the public.

    Why don't you tells us why you posted this thread in the first place? Let alone the thousand words of worthless commentary. It's not like you can avoid hearing about it, its all over the news. Why do you, who has extremely little to no experience with wild snakes, feel the need to put this news item up, if it's not in the interested of helping people learn from it??
     
  14. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    Someone would have put it up whether it was me or the likes of Ropey or Cagey. Disappointing sure but still it's the reality... Contradicting yes, BUT it's NOT MY viewpoint... I'm just telling you what the general consensus is on this topic... this isn't Utopia. Instead of having both your feet in the ideal plain, try keeping one in the REAL world... By all means, make your knowledge public... Just don't shoot someone down for telling you the facts whether you like them or not. It is what it is. You cannot and will not save/change them all... Difference is, I've long ago accepted it, it seems though you have not.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2019
  15. cement

    cement Subscriber Subscriber APS Veteran

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    Listen to me carefully... try your best to comprehend what I write without the need for trying to one up me, with nonsense and quite frankly worthless crap.
    Go and read my original post again and ask yourself, where do I mention (either directly or indirectly) ANY form of disappointment in what happened.??

    Where do I say I/we live in Utopia?

    How the hell do you figure that because I post a method of extracting a python off someone, that I am not living in or am oblivious to your "REAL" world??

    I think your duality is very amusing. The time I spend on this computer here on this site alone, compared to your time is case enough of who likes the escapism more. You really need to pick up your game in the forum post content dept though.

    I've said to you once before, I know exactly what the public think of snakes. I deal with them DAILY and have done for 15 years. In fact today when I relocated the oldest and biggest Boiga I have ever recorded, the guy said he had heard that there is more snakes around because of the bushfire smoke we are experiencing right now. Its like you and your water theory, about brown snakes drawn to your property. I mean think about...... actually think mate, think. We are still in drought, is your place over run with browns yet??? It should be going on your "knowledge" of EB's.
     
  16. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

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    Listen to your typed words... I'll do my best...
    Working with snakes for 15 years... I get it, you're the greatest most accomplished snake handler of all time, next to you my experience amounts no nothing ... big deal... I spent longer than that living among them in the remote upper Macleay Valley and twice as long among people who detest them here in QLD. Irrelevant, because you're missing the point, this isn't about you or me or what you or I would have done in this situation, it's about what actually happened and the fact that 9/10 people would do the same thing. Congratulations on being better than me at snakes... dunno how I'll sleep tonight now. Grab a star out of Petty cash and give yourself a field promotion. I'm not going to argue with you... it's freaking ridiculous... why don't you contact the bloke and tell him yourself that he should have told his son to sit tight while he went and grabbed a hankerchief and a bottle of chloroform to cancel out the snake's feeding mode instead of reaching for the sledgehammer... get back to me and tell me how it was received. You'll probably wind up in hospital yourself.

    Yeah it's rained pretty decent here 5 out of the last 15 days but there's a good 6ft of something lurking around... the 1 piece shed I collected by the side gate is the only evidence though... the dogs haven't turned it up yet... I'll grab a pic at some point when I'm not too busy and send it to you for a positive ID.

    Have a merry Christmas.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2019
  17. Southernserpent

    Southernserpent Active Member

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    And here we go again
     
  18. Nero Egernia

    Nero Egernia Subscriber Subscriber

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    There was an interesting post making the rounds on Facebook that broke down some of the python's behaviours and cleared up a few misconceptions. However, I don't know how to share it here.

    Either way, an unfortunate situation for both parties.
     
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  19. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Active Member

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  20. cement

    cement Subscriber Subscriber APS Veteran

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    " I spent longer than that living among them in the remote upper Macleay Valley and twice as long among people who detest them here in QLD."

    Is this your experience with snakes in the wild? You lived amongst them? Any wonder you like sensational journalism.Lol!!
    Do you mean you used to live in the country and you saw a snake every now and again? Classic.

    If the dad and his mate weren't there to kill the snake, and only a grandmother or less physical person was looking after the kids and something like this happened, Knowing that you can make a snake eject its prey by mucking/turning off its kill switch, is a VERY positive thing to know.

    For your information Flavim....whatever...... It would actually be quicker to dig up some strong smelling substance then to manhandle a 5 m scrubbie off its prey. There is also... a lot of odd comments about this snakes behaviour that an expert would pick up on, which makes it just another odd/questionable media story.



    " it's about what actually happened."
    If you were there, watching it unfold, then I might give you the benefit of the doubt, but you weren't. Put a hold on the BS please.
     
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