Pet store owner survives constriction by 20-foot python

Police say they arrived on scene and found the 125-pound snake wrapped around Terry Wilkens.

By Fred Lambert

NEWPORT, Ky., Oct. 6 (UPI) -- A Kentucky pet store owner was released from the hospital Tuesday after he was nearly constricted to death by a 20-foot python.

Police responded to a call at Captive Born Reptiles, in Newport, Ky., and found owner Terry Wilkens under attack from the 125-pound snake, which reportedly bit him and coiled itself around his head, neck and torso as he fed the creature Monday morning.


Police say blood was everywhere and that Wilkens was not breathing as they struggled to free him from the python's grip. One officer reportedly uncurled the animal's head while another pulled at Wilkens' legs.

"It was only by the grace of God that one of the officers knew how to deal with snakes," police chief Tom Collins told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "It was a horrific event."

Wilkens was rushed to University of Cincinnati Medical Center and was released Tuesday.

The BBC quoted Wilkens' daughter, Keiko Wilkens, as saying in a statement the incident was overblown and her father's life was never in danger.

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