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Tryst with a python

 Samantha Russell |  2013-09-09 00:57:38.0  |  New Delhi

Tryst with a python

<div>I got a call one morning just as I was finishing breakfast at home. It was my mother-in-law. A large python was in her fishpond, and could I come and remove it? My mother-in-law lives on the edge Nairobi national park, and frequently gets wild visitors. They have a resident leopard, a buffalo or</div><div>two and sometimes some lions come to try and catch her goats.</div><div><br></div><div>She said the python was big, but I was not ready for one that was 13 feet. It was curled up at the bottom of her shallow pond and clearly did not want anything to do with me. Stripping off into my</div><div>shorts, I waded into the pond. The python did not want my company so I started to leave. As soon as</div><div>his head appeared over the edge of the pond I grabbed it. I then groped around at my feet to try and pick up the rest of the body before it started to wind itself around my legs in anger. I called for help from my long-suffering wife who was watching. I gave her the job of trying to hold the middle of the snake as I grabbed the tail end. Its tail was curling around my arm so we quickly hauled it out and laid it out on land, stretching it out. With some very reluctant help from the local Maasai, we measured the snake at 11 feet and then proceeded to take it into the nearly National Park and release it.</div><div><br></div><div>Far from my mother-in-laws pond and out of trouble. Or so we thought. Two weeks later, just after breakfast, I received a call from my mother-in-law again.</div><div><div><br></div><div>The author is born and brought up in Kenya. She spent most of her childhood camping. She developed a passion for wild places, and entered into a career in wildlife conservation straight after University.</div><div><br></div><div><i>Conceived by Kalyan Mukherjee, Consulting Editor,Africa</i></div><div><i>Research by Aman Ramrakha</i></div></div>

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