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Wednesday, 10 January, 2001, 15:59 GMT
Snakebite South African style
African python
Pythons in southern Africa can grow upto 7m long
A South African man managed to save himself in a novel way after being attacked by a python on his way home from work by biting it.

The man, Lucas Sibanda from Pretoria, said the snake came at him on a narrow path near his home and started to coil itself around him - apparently trying to suffocate and then swallow him.

"I couldn't believe my eyes when just in front of me it appeared from nowhere and started coming at me and coiling round me," Mr Sibanda told the Star newspaper.

The 57-year old said that he sank his teeth into the python's neck, at the same time kicking and punching it until it eventually let him go.

A horrible nightmare

"I decided that the only way to save myself from this monster was to bite it just below the head," he said.

He eventually killed it with a stick.

"This is like one horrible nightmare. I don't know exactly where I found the strength to fight that snake but I thank God I'm still alive to tell the tale," he said.

He told the newspaper he now plans to hang the snake skin outside his house as proof to anyone who does not believe his story.

The most popular species of python in southern Africa grows to about five metres long - but can reach as much as seven metres.

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