How To Survive a Python Attack

How To Survive a Python Attack – What To Do?

I think about this scenario far too often, I’m looking for snakes at night and I step past a rock and a large python attacks me. There have been a couple of times I have been near thick foliage and undergrowth and heard something coming closer to me. I couldn’t see it, but it was in there.

Ha! I sound paranoid, right? You spend 3-8 hours in Thailand’s rainforest by yourself and see what your mind does.


You could sever the spinal cord at the neck and stop the python from contracting around you. A deep cut to the neck would probably sever some arteries and could help to bleed the snake out.

Pythons Get So Big They’re Scary

Reticulated pythons and Burmese pythons are the big snakes in Thailand that can kill you. Here in my area, we have the retics. I’ve seen one between 6-7 meters long. I’ve seen one eat a goat. They can certainly eat a small-framed human being.

Most nights I’m fine. I don’t fear ghosts. I don’t fear the people I meet in the jungle – most times. I don’t fear venomous snakes because I figure anything I do that gets me in trouble is within my control for the most part. There’s a very slight chance I’ll die in the forest from a venomous snake bite, and I don’t fear that at all.

I do fear something hunting me though. Tigers, leopards, bears, and big pythons.

What to Do When a Python Tries to Kill You?

Reticulated python swollen from eating a man in Indonesia in March 2017.
A man in Indonesia was eaten after being attacked by a large python.

How can you fight a python? Recently a rubber tapper in Indonesia went out alone at night to collect latex from the rubber trees on the plantation. He didn’t come back. Friends went looking for him.

They found him in the stomach of what they said was a seven-meter-long Reticulated Python. That’s a big snake. People were incredulous, could it REALLY eat a person?

What eats alligators? Yup, they do. Are you KIDDING ME? They can eat ALLIGATORS. What makes you think a person is any different?

Wait, here’s the best line from the entire BBC article which covered this story… “Pythons rarely kill and eat humans, although there are occasional reports of them swallowing young children or animals.”

Wait, there are “OCCASIONAL reports of them swallowing animals? There are thousands! Happens thousands of times every day. Pythons eat dogs, cats, birds, chickens, pigs, alligators, small deer, and many other animals!

Here’s something else dumb they said, “Reticulated pythons are among the world’s longest reptiles and suffocate their victims before swallowing them whole.”

Just a few minutes of research would have turned up the fairly recent study that shows that people who die as a result of a python attack, die because their blood pressure raises so high – that the heart cannot beat. The heart is stopped and death occurs. It isn’t asphyxiation that is the cause of death.

Anyway… here’s the BBC article on this story:

So, the purpose of this article is to entertain WHAT TO DO IF A PYTHON HAS BITTEN YOU – AND IS WRAPPING AROUND YOU QUICKLY.

How To Survive a Python Attack?

  1. Python bites you.
  2. Pull out a knife as fast as possible. The knife should have a lanyard to wrap around your wrist so you can do #3.
  3. Keep the python from wrapping around you at all costs. Repeatedly unwrap until you can safely use one hand to #4.
  4. When possible – stab the snake in the neck, side, or belly repeatedly and many different places. Don’t stop. Stop when the snake lets go and you can run away as fast as you can.
  5. Hope and pray the python lets go.

That has been my plan for about the last fifteen years. I’m not sure if it would work. I’d like to have a better plan. If you can think of one, DO LET ME KNOW.

Some other ideas… and yes, these are bad – horrific – but, if you’re in a life-or death situation, you need to do whatever you can to stay alive, right? I mean, who wants to become snake food?

More Ideas to Help You Survive an Attack

  1. If the eyes are visible at all – jam a knife, pen, rock, stick, anything – into the eyes repeatedly – even ripping the eyes out if at all possible.
  2. Keep a strong serrated knife handy. It’s possible to see through the snake at least until you reach the vertebrae. See #5.
  3. Bring a container of strong mouthwash, or isopropyl rubbing alcohol and keep it in your shirt pocket – easily accessible. Snakes have been shown to let go when they encounter a face full of mouthwash.
  4. If you could keep a small torch handy, you could fire that up and fry his brain with it. It would have to operate with one hand. Hopefully, you’d even have one hand free to use it.
  5. I wonder if a small saw would be the best weapon to have. A saw with a blade on it that can see through 2-3 inch thick branches might be ideal. Not sure where you’d keep a saw of that type handy on you at all times, but you’d be damn glad you had it when the time came. You could put it on your boonie cap. I think this might be the best violent way to remove the snake. You could see through a python’s vertebral column in a matter of seconds with the right hacksaw.

Anyway, that’s what I came up with.



More Reticulated Python Info >

Thailand Snakes – Venomous and Non-Venomous snake information!

How To Survive a Python Attack
How To Survive a Python Attack


  1. I would think a cigarette lighter would stop the attack. I can’t think of any animal that is capable of withstanding a flame touching them. Works good on human attackers too…. dogs, alligators, bears.

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