A pleasant afternoon of swimming in the backyard of a New South Wales home turned into a horrific event this week after a man said his 5-year-old son was attacked by a massive python.
Speaking to the Australian radio show 3AW on Thursday, Byron Bay resident Ben Blake said that on Wednesday, his two sons had been swimming in the family's in-ground pool. His 5-year-old son, Beau Blake, had gotten out of the water and was walking alongside the pool's edge next to the garden when the incident occurred.
"Just out of the blue, a probably 3-meter python decided to wrap his mouth around his ankle and they both rolled into the pool and the python wrapped himself around him," Blake said.
Blake said that he thinks the python was "sitting there waiting for something to come along."
"And Beau was it," he said.
The next few minutes went by in a flash. All of a sudden, Blake said, he saw the snake emerge, and the next thing he knew, the snake was "completely wrapped around" his son's leg and they were spiraling into the pool. He later told Australian news outlet 9 News that the python had wrapped himself "from the bite right up to around his knee joint."
That's when his 76-year-old father literally jumped in to save the day. Within seconds he was in the pool, grabbing both the boy and the snake, still entwined, and handing them up to Ben. The father separated the two after about 15 to 20 seconds, he said, saying "it was somewhat of an ordeal."
"I just grabbed it as close as I could to the head, squeezed and pulled," Ben Blake told 9 News.
The boy was attacked just days before his sixth birthday, his father said, but has been doing OK after his father and grandfather told him the snake was not venomous.
"He's an absolute trooper," Ben Blake said.
The family is now just monitoring the bites on Beau's ankle to make sure there is no infection.
While New South Wales and Australia as a whole are known for their creepy creatures, including pythons, Blake said that incident was outside the norm. It's unclear what type of python attacked the boy, but there are 15 species of python on the continent, according to the organization Backyard Buddies.
"A big python like that lurking in the bushes right next to the pool – not so much," he said of this kind of incident occurring.
The family ended up releasing the snake shortly after its attack on the child, but even after that ordeal, Blake said "the naughty thing" didn't slither away very far. In fact, he said, it "went back to the scene of the crime."