By Taniya Dutta
This is the moment a forest ranger had a narrow escape while taking selfies with an 35ft rock python flung stylishly around his shoulders – when the snake suddenly tried to choke him to death.
The incident happened in Sahib Bari village in Jaipaiguri, 600km from Calcutta, on Sunday [June 17] when forest ranger Sanjay Dutta was called in by villagers to capture the rock python which was killing and eating a goat.
Dutta and his assistants rushed to rescue the massive snake – but while normal procedure required him to simply capture the snake and put it in a sack, the intrepid ranger instead grabbed the snake with his right hand and flung it across his neck to prove his bravado.
His vanity startled the horde of villagers at the spot, who started taking photographs with the gleeful ranger.
But things quickly turned ugly when the snake, came out of its initial shock and started wriggling and then twisting and turning all while around Dutta’s neck.
In the video, a visibly worried Dutta can be seen walking away from the crowd while the python starts tightening its grip around his neck, much to the horror of the eyewitnesses.
A loud cry then breaks out as the villagers panic and start running away from him.
At one moment the massive snake even slips out of the hands of a man who was holding its tail.
Soon a man in blue, possibly a forest department employee, is seen running forward to come to the forest ranger’s rescue.
The ranger is heard telling his assistant in a voice of suppressed panic, “hold the tail, hold the tail” and then “it’s ok, it’s all ok”.
Speaking about the incident, Dutta kept a brave face and said: “I received a call about a python that was devouring a goat near a school. I reached the spit immediately and rescued the snake. It is 35 feet long. It is suspected that the snake swam to the village from a nearby river.”
The rock python was later released into the Baikanthapur forest near Sahib Bari village and Dutta was not injured.