A five-year-old Australian boy had to be rescued by his grandfather after being dragged into a swimming pool by a 10ft-long python.
It was only the swift reaction of his family that saved the life of Beau Blake.
The little boy was walking close to the swimming pool at his family’s home near Byron Bay in New South Wales when the snake emerged “out of the blue” from some bushes and latched onto his ankle.
The python quickly wrapped itself around Beau as the two of them toppled into the water. "I had just started kicking back on the lounger, just started enjoying a tin (a can of beer) and all of a sudden it was on," the boy’s father, Ben Blake, told NBN News.
"Beau was just walking around the edge (of the pool). I believe the pyth on was sort of sitting there waiting for a victim to come along, a bird or something, and Beau was it.
"I saw a big black shadow come out of the bush and before they hit the bottom, it was completely wrapped around his leg."
"Before he even hit the bottom of the pool it was completely wrapped around the leg," he said.
The boy’s grandfather, 76-year-old Alan Blake, immediately jumped into the swimming pool, grabbed his grandson and the snake, still entwined, and passed them up to Ben.
"I looked in and there was the thing around his legs so I just jumped straight in to grab him," Alan said.
Ben seized the python by its neck, squeezed hard and managed to pull it off his son in about 20 seconds.
Beau was taken to a local hospital where doctors cleaned the puncture wounds left by the python.
"He's an absolute trooper , once we cleaned up the blood and told him he wasn't going to die because it wasn't a poisonous snake, he was pretty good," Ben said.
After the attack he released the python back into the bushes. “We used to check for spiders around the pool but now we'll look for snakes," Ben said. "If I wasn't that close he would have been underwater and who knows what would have happened.”
Living with snakes was a fact of life in northern New South Wales, he said. “Aw look, it’s where we live, it’s Australia.”
The snake may have been a carpet python, which is commonly found in subtropical parts of Australia. The species mainly feeds on frogs, reptiles, birds and small mammals. They grow to an average length of around 7ft but can reach 14ft in length.
Last month, an Indonesian woman was eaten alive by a huge python after venturing into the jungle to collect rubber.
Horrified locals managed to catch the 22ft-long snake and cut it open - inside they found the undigested remains of the 54-year-old grandmother.