MAKASSAR, INDONESIA (AFP) - An Indonesian woman has been found in the belly of a giant python after the swollen snake was captured near where she vanished while tending her vegetable garden, police said on Saturday (June 16).
The body of 54-year-old Wa Tiba was found on Friday when villagers cut open the 7m-long python, which was found bloated in the village of Persiapan Lawela on the island of Muna, offshore of Sulawesi.
"Residents were suspicious the snake swallowed the victim, so they killed it, then carried it out of the garden," said local police chief Hamka, who like many Indonesians has only one name.
"The snake's belly was cut open and the body of the victim was found inside."
Some 100 residents, including worried relatives, launched a search for the woman after she failed to return from her garden on Thursday night.
Police chief Hamka said villagers found the giant serpent lying about 30 metres from Tiba's sandals and machete, adding she was swallowed head first and her body was found intact.
The garden in which she disappeared was at the base of a rocky cliff, pockmarked by caves, and known to be home to snakes, chief Hamka added.
Giant pythons, which regularly top six metres, are commonly found in Indonesia and the Philippines.