This is the terrified pet owner who recently handed his pythons over to forestry authorities after the “cute” snakes he bought four years ago grew into massive insatiable predators.
Duan Congshan sought out officials with the Shidian County Forestry Bureau in south-western China’s Yunnan Province who agreed to take his pets off his hands.
He drove his two Burmese pythons (Python bivittatus) – one male and one female – to the bureau’s car park and let them loose for officials to inspect.
Mr Duan revealed he had seen the snakes at a pet shop four years earlier and bought them because he thought they were “cute”.
They each measured just 23 inches at the time and were no thicker than an adult’s thumb, but he began to feel uneasy as their grew in size and appetite.
The larger female now measures 12 feet in length and weighs 40 lbs, while the smaller golden male is 7 feet and 8.8 pounds.
Mr Duan said: “They got bigger and bigger, and started eating more and more.
“I got scared, so I went online and found that they were actually a state-protected species; they’re not allowed to be kept as pets.”
Burmese pythons are listed as a Class 1 state-protected species in mainland China, where their capture or sale is strictly forbidden.
Forestry officials have accepted Mr Duan’s snakes and said they would be handed over to a wildlife protection shelter.
The animals are believed to have lost any natural hunting instincts due to being kept in captivity.
They may be handed over to local zoos for educational purposes.
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