THE lifeless body of a mother of two has been retrieved from the belly of a giant python in Indonesia.
Wa Tiba, 54, had been swallowed by the 8.22 metre (27ft) reptile while gardening.
Her children raised the alarm when she failed to return home in Southeast Sulawesi on Thursday.
Neighbours and relatives immediately launched a search party on Friday morning.
A further probe led them to the discovery of an enormous python nearby, too heavy to move.
The police were called.
News of the discovery also spread round the village and hundreds of residents gathered round the patch of grass in Mabolu village in the Lohia Regency of Muna province.
The python was killed and cut open to reveal what everyone had suspected: the missing woman.
While the knife that Wa Tiba had gone out with the previous evening was found on the floor – suggesting she had dropped it after being struck with deadly power by the killer python.
Her head was towards the snake’s tail and her feet at its mouth – showing that she had been swallowed head first.
Police superintendent Agung Ramos said Wa Tiba had gone out to check her garden the previous evening and never returned.
“Children and residents had been looking for Wa after she did not return home. Some items belonging to victim, sandals, machete, and flashlights, were found but the victim was not there,” he said.
“The family then reported this to the police and the search reached its conclusion at 9am. Residents found a python that looked like it was unable to move. Residents then suspected the snake swallowed Wa Tiba.
“People took the snake into the village and started splitting the snake. The suspicions were true and there was a body in tact inside the snake. Unfortunately the victim was lifeless.”
Resident Ayu Kartika said: “Everybody was crying, everybody was shocked. This is like a horror movie. People are terrified. We are scared to go outside. We can only pray for a safety.”
Wa Tiba was buried later that afternoon in keeping with traditional religious customs.
Sulawesi is an island in Indonesia that is home to some of the biggest and most deadly wild pythons in the world