BILLINGSGATE POST: A heartbreaking story from Sulawesi, Indonesia. According to local news reports, the body found inside a 23-foot python turned out to be a 23-year-old man named Akbar who had been reported missing by his wife. Authorities there speculate whether this was a first time meeting between Akbar and the nameless snake or a chance encounter that turned violent. Both, however, were found to be carrying smart phones, and the authorities will check the phones for possible clues as to how they met.
Local media also reports that the two had been seen fighting over Akbar's pet gerbil at a local watering spot where they were known to hang out. Lothario, Akbar's pet gerbil, was known as somewhat a tease, and some say he could have instigated the unfortunate confrontation.
Reportedly, Lothario would tease the python by hopping around the snake's head while trying to hypnotize it with rhythmic chirps. Although Lothario was found inside the snakes's belly unharmed, the same cannot be said for Akbar.
The snake involved is a reticulated python. These snakes are among the largest in the world and have been known to swallow alligators. Reports of them eating humans, though, have been exceedingly rare. Adding to the intrigue is the ironic happenstance that Akbar was 23 years old and the snake was 23 feet long.
A numerical coincidence? Punters looking for a little snake action are getting 3-1 odds that it's not.