Python stuck in an electric fence is saved on video after suffering shocks

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A huge python that suffered continuous electric shocks after becoming trapped in an electric fence on a farm in South Africa has been rescued by a group of friends, video shows.

The group came across a South African python while on a run in the Greater Durban area. The images, taken by Natasha Barnes, show the top half of the 9ft snake stuck halfway through a fence. He was unable to move backwards or forwards to escape.

Barnes said Newsweek they thought he was dead at first. “But as we stood there and watched the electric fence pass through the poor creature, we could see it move ever so slightly,” she said.

Another member of the group, Penny Fourie, insisted on touching the fence to “see how the snake felt” as electricity pulsed through her body. In a Facebook post, Barnes said many “swear words” followed.

The python was weakening and the group knew they had to move quickly. Barnes said luckily the top half of the snake was away from them, meaning they could help the snake without fear of being bitten by its “sharp rows of teeth.”

South African pythons are not poisonous but can inflict a severe bite if provoked, although this is rare.

Barnes said: “We weren’t nervous at all…when we found the python, we collectively agreed that no one with a conscience could go on without at least trying to save this animal. We didn’t even give it a second thought. . “

On Facebook, local snake catcher and expert Nick Evans, who assisted in the rescue, identified the snake as a Southern African python. These snakes are the largest in South Africa and can reach 18 feet and weigh around 142 pounds. They are a protected species but many are killed to be sold for muthi, a traditional medicine practice in southern Africa, according to Evans. Other problems the snakes face include habitat destruction, he said.

The group called Evans for advice on how to help the snake. Evans suggested the friends make a hole in the fence. But first they had to turn off the electricity.

The group found the farm manager, who cut the electricity and arrived to cut the wire and free the snake. In the footage, the snake can be seen slowly starting to move through the fence.

The snake rested for a while and regained its strength before farm workers retrieved it from an old duvet cover to release it to a safer environment, Evans said.

In a Facebook post commenting on the rescue, Evans said he saw two pythons die stuck in electric fences.

Evans said: “To save this beautiful, big specimen was so important. I hope he lives a good life and learns to avoid electric fences! It was so heartening to see that this group cared so much. I see a lot of cruelty to snakes every day. Seeing people go out of their way like that, with such determination, it was just awesome.

A file photo shows an African python. South African pythons are a vulnerable species.
Christopher Graf/Getty Images
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