GEORGETOWN - A massive python found in Penang could be the longest snake ever caught, but died on Sunday (April 10) soon after it was captured.
It died on Sunday after laying eggs, Mr Herme Herisyam, operations chief for Penang's Civil Defence Department's south-west district told the BBC.
The python - which was believed to be at least 7.5m long, with some reports saying it measured 8m - was discovered lying under a tree by construction workers near their work site in Paya Terubong last Thursday (April 7) evening.
They called the civil defence, which sent officers to capture it. The reticulated python will be handed over to the state's Wildlife Department.
The Star newspaper said the reptile was 7.5m long and weighed 250kg.
"It is the largest and longest python caught by the department in Penang so far," Mr Herme told The Star.
He added that they took more than 30 minutes to capture the snake.
“Six of them had to walk about 100m from the nearest road to reach the spot. They found the snake under a fallen tree and took more than 30 minutes to bring it down to a safe place,” The Star quoted him as saying.
Other reports put the length of the python at 8m, which would have made it a contender for the world record of longest snake in captivity.
The current record holder is Medusa, also a reticulated python. She was measured at 7.67m in 2011, and is said to weigh 158.8 kg.
There are reports of larger snakes, some as long as 10m, but many are unverified.
A python found in Indonesia in 2004 was at first said to be more than 14m long, but was later measured at around 6.5m to 7m.
Reticulated pythons, which are found in South-east Asia, are on average the world's longest snakes.
The non-venomous constrictor normally grows to 3m to 6m.