A 45-year-old Ohio woman learned a dangerous lesson this weekend. The snake loving lady had just “rescued” two boa constrictors the day before she called 911 in a panic after the snake didn’t appreciate her efforts. Of the 11 snakes she had as pets, possibly this one was more feral then she realized; it attacked its rescuer.
The woman, who is unidentified, is known around the neighborhood for her odd reptile collection. Witnesses say that she would frequently walk around with one of her snakes draped around her neck. Officials said that the resident owned nine ball pythons along with the two boa constrictors she captured on the previous day. She had “rescued” all of them.
When firefighters arrived on the scene, broken cages were scatted around, the woman was laying on her driveway struggling with the snake, and blood was everywhere.
Dispatchers were shocked by the call. The five-and-a-half-foot snake had wrapped itself around the woman’s waist and neck and was biting her face.
With audible desperation, “Hurry please! I have a boa constrictor stuck to my face… I’m outside with it. I just rescued it yesterday, please,” the 911 call recorded her frantic appeal for help.
Many people have pet snakes in their homes. And although they can be very harmless companions, inviting a predator to share your living space isn’t always wise. There’s an urban legend circulating about a woman who slept with her python.
The large creature would stretch out next to her as she slept. The story goes that when the snake stopped eating, the woman became concerned and went to a veterinarian. The animal doctor told the lady that the snake was preparing itself for a large meal, essentially her.
Although the story is fictitious, it makes a strong argument about predatory beasts, the two-legged, four-legged or no-legged variety. When a person willingly places herself in jeopardy, it isn’t wise.
The Ohio woman found that out the hard way. She was traumatized by the attack.
After she made the initial report, the dispatcher sounded confused, and is heard saying, “Ma’am, you have a what?” the operator replied. “You’re outside with a boa constrictor stuck to your face? (less audibly) I’ve never heard of this before.”
Boa constrictors typically crush the organs of their prey until the meal’s blood flow has stopped and the victim is unconscious. The absence of blood flow kills prey quickly, so it’s odd that this snake kept biting the woman.
“Please hurry, he’s [unintelligible] on my nose,” the woman cries. When asked if she could pry open the snake’s jaws, she replied, “No, I’m trying. There’s blood everywhere.”
The dispatcher asked if all the other snakes were secured, and she replied, “Yes. All of my snakes are put away,” she says. “I have eleven.”
Telling the victim that rescuers are on the way the woman cried, “Oh! Yes, I’m on the ground.” She explained that she could breathe, but couldn’t move. She desperately pleaded, “Oh God. Hurry please… He’s around my waist and he’s got my nose.”
When emergency crews arrived, they saw that the snake was biting the woman’s face and would not release her. So, one quick thinking paramedic grabbed his pocketknife and chopped off the reptile’s head.
Sheffield Lake Mayor Dennis Bring said the action saved the woman’s life. “I’m just really pleased with the paramedics response and you know the thought, to think that quick to take out a pocket knife,” Bring said. “Obviously he had to destroy the snake, but he had no other choice.”
In fact, many people are glad that such a predator is dead. If the paramedic hadn’t killed it, it may have done more harm to the neighborhood later.
The woman was taken to an area hospital and released. However, she may think twice about bringing wild snakes into her home in the future. Her injuries were not life-threatening, but they could have been. If the snake had been larger, or if she hadn’t been able to contact emergency crews, her love of the reptiles could have cost her life.
Hopefully, she’ll learn to recognize deadly predators before she invites them into her home. Hear the entire frantic call for help here.