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Posted by Wes von Papinešu on January 10, 2001 at 09:40:15:
Photo: Snake biter: Lucas Sibanda of Klipgat, Pretoria, with the snake that almost made him its next meal. But Lucas bit back and then clubbed the python to death
THE STAR (Johannesburg, South Africa) 09 January 01 Deadly snake dies of man-bite
A fierce rock python on Tuesday met its match in the form of a man from Pretoria man who bit his way to freedom.
Lucas Sibanda, 57, a council worker, is alive today because of quick thinking, common sense - and strong teeth.
Sibanda was walking home on the remote, narrow pathway that he uses each day to get to work when the snake appeared suddenly from behind some shrubs.
"I couldn't believe my eyes when just in front of me it appeared from nowhere and started coming at me. I froze for almost 10 seconds, enough to let the snake tangle itself around me," he said.
The python started constricting him in an attempt to suffocate its victim.
Sibanda said he kept his cool and thought to himself that it was either fighting back, or watching, as the snake made lunch out of him.
"I decided that the only way to save myself from this monster was to bite it just below the head," he said.
He sunk his teeth into the python's neck, while he kicked and punched until the snake finally untangled itself from his body.
Sibanda said he looked around and saw a stick lying in the pathway, which he used to hit the snake before it could attack him again.
The father of four said his family couldn't believe it when he arrived home dragging the snake.
He added that in his lifetime he had seen plenty of snakes while growing up on a farm in Swaziland, but it was the first time he had ever seen or fought with such an enormous one.
"This is like one horrible nightmare. I don't know where I found the strength to fight that snake, but I thank God I'm still alive to tell the tale."
Sibanda has already skinned the python and says he will leave it outside his house as proof for people who would otherwise not believe his story