Police responded to an unusual rescue call of a Pennsylvania man that ended with officers shooting a 15-foot snake coiled around his neck.
Upper Macungie Township officers arrived at the Fogelsville man’s home on Wednesday to discover the 28-year-old unresponsive with a large serpent wrapped around his neck and upper body.
One of the police officers was able to shoot the snake without harming the man.
“Because the snake was so large, the midsection of the snake was wrapped around the throat. The head of the snake was just far enough away from the victim that the officer made a split-second decision and he proceeded to shoot the snake in the head,” Upper Macungie Township Police Department Lt. Peter Nickischer told 6ABC News.
Despite the gunshot wound, the snake did not die immediately.
“It started to slither away, luckily away from the officers, away from the direction that they were trying to pull this gentleman,” Nickischer added. “They realized it was a matter of life and death with seconds to make that decision. Praise the officers. They did what they had to do. It was a safe shoot.”
The injured man was rushed to the hospital. His condition is currently unknown.
The type of snake was not identified. WTXF reported that the reptile was the man’s pet. The resident also reportedly also had other snake enclosures found inside of his home.
Though rare, the attack is not the only time a snake has attempted to kill its owner. In 2019, an Indiana woman was found dead in her home with a reticulated python around her neck. An autopsy concluded that her death was due to asphyxiation.
The eight-foot-long snake was found in a home owned by Benton County Sheriff Don Munson where 120 snakes were kept which led to an investigation regarding exotic pet laws in the state.
While pythons are not native to the U.S., many Burmese pythons have taken over parts of South Florida. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida announced last month the discovery of its third record-breaking discovery in the last decade of the largest python found to date in the Sunshine State.
The Daily Wire previously reported that the snake weighed in at 215 pounds and measured nearly 18 feet in length—about the size of a shipping container. Three wildlife biologists from the Conservancy captured the female python using radio transmitters implanted in small male “scout” snakes. Those transmitters allow researchers to understand python movements, breeding behaviors, and habit use.