A mother tried in vain to prise a four-metre python from her toddler’s body in a terrifying Boxing Day attack in far north Queensland.
Port Douglas mother Rachael Sullivan was playing with two-year-old Kye Dalton and his three-year-old brother in the family’s garage on the evening of December 26 when the snake struck, The Sunday Mail reported.
The python latched onto Kye’s foot when he went to retrieve a ball from behind a chair.
“He then let out that horrible scream where you know something is very, very wrong,” Ms Sullivan said.
“By the time I got to him, and we are talking a second or two, the snake had latched on to his foot and coiled all up Kye.
“He just screamed only once and I just grabbed him and tried pulling the snake off but I couldn’t budge it.”
Panicked, Ms Sullivan carried Kye into the street with the snake still attached and screamed for help.
Neighbour Scott Tunnie and his fiancee, Xena Reeves, rushed to her aid.
Mr Tunnie grabbed the snake’s head and squeezed as hard as he could before he began unwinding the python from Kye’s body.
The snake then turned on Mr Tunnie and wrapped around his arm, cutting off circulation.
Ms Reeves tried to pull the python from her fiance’s arm even as she spoke to paramedics on the phone.
It wasn’t until two more neighbours rushed to help that the snake was brought under control.
Kye had to be revived twice after he passed out en route to Mossman Hospital, and later stopped breathing while being transferred to Cairns Base Hospital.
A test for venom came back negative and X-rays revealed the snake had not crushed Kye’s ribs.
He was released from hospital the following day with four bite marks and bruising to his lower leg.
The family spent the night at Ms Sullivan’s mother’s house because Kye and his brother were too afraid to return home.
However, two days later the toddler was waving goodbye to his deadly attacker as he watched a snake-catcher release the python into rainforest.
“Bye bye, Bitey,” the toddler called as the snake wound itself up a tree.