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MUGGED BY SNAKE; Teen attacked with python.

Byline: LOUISA PILBEAM

A TEENAGER was attacked by a snake after a gang pinned him against a wall and forced the 4ft python to bite him in a suspected racist attack.

The boy, 14, was cornered in a park by the thugs holding several snakes. They made one wrap itself around his arm and then sink its fangs into his hand.

But quick-thinking paramedics looked up the reptile on Google so the boy could identify it on Saturday.

Paramedic Michael Howells said: "In order to try and identify the type I Googled 'snakes' on my mobile to show the patient.

"He was reasonably sure he could identify the type, so I sent the image to our control room." They called an expert at Bristol Zoo who confirmed the snake was a python - and not poisonous.

Police said yesterday that racist comments may have been made to him before the bizarre attack. The boy's friend, also nine, said it had left the victim - who he named as Dan - "terrified".

He said: "We were playing in the park when a group of older boys came up to us with some snakes. They pushed a 4ft snake towards Dan and it wrapped itself around his arm before biting him."

The friend's dad, who did not wish to be identified, said: "My son was terrified and I am not letting him play out until police find out what happened. I want to know where these kids got these dangerous snakes from."

The boy, attacked in Bradley Stoke, Bristol, was taken to hospital as a precaution and released yesterday.

A spokesman for Great Western Ambulance service said: "The group was appar-ently carrying several snakes and forced one of them to bite the boy on the hand, leaving two puncture wounds."

Police yesterday said they were waiting to take a full statement from the boy.

THIS poor cat was "crushed, asphyxiated and consumed whole" by a neighbour's 13ft python, its owners said yesterday.

Now Martin and Helen Wadey want such snakes to be officially classed as dangerous animals requiring a licence.

Their ginger and white pet Wilbur was eaten after straying into a nearby garden in Brislington, Bristol, where the Burmese python was lurking.

They heard "bloodchilling cries" and rushed to the house. But on getting no reply, were powerless to save the cat from being swallowed in one minute.

Micro-chipped remains were seen on a scan of the snake's "huge bulge" by the RSPCA, which gave owner Darren Bishop a warning about reptile housing and care.

But on his website Justice for Wilbur, Mr Wade, 44, says it is wrong that "creatures of such immense power" can be bought as pets for about pounds 100 without licences.

The couple, who have three other cats, are petitioning No.10 to amend the Wild Animals Act. Mr Bishop was unavailable for comment.

Sss-nake horror 2

Sss-nake horror 1

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PLEA Wades want new law BITE SCARE A python

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 10, 2009
Words:492
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