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Man killed by pet python
(UPI Focus)

Thursday, 23 December 1999 0:24 (GMT)

PORT ORANGE, Fla., Dec. 22 (UPI) - A Port Orange, Fla., man died Wednesday, and police think his pet python killed him. Police suspect Robert Raulerson, 32, had opened the cage of the 12 1/2-foot-long reticulated python to give it some medication when it attacked him. Commander Mike Sheridan said, "It just appears to the detectives, at some point the python grabbed the deceased's forehead with his fangs and then proceeded to wrap itself around the body and suffocated him." An autopsy by the medical examiner confirmed that there were puncture wounds on Robertson's forehead, but investigators said it was unclear whether they were caused by snake fangs. The investigation of the cause of death is continuing. The snake was one of five pythons living in Robertson's home. It was humanely destroyed shortly after the death was discovered. The other snakes have been taken to the Halifax Humane Society. Humane Society staffer Michelle Pari said, "We do not recommend owning a wild animal." Reticulated pythons are the largest of snakes. They can grow to a length of 30 feet and weigh as much as 90 pounds. They are considered very aggressive and do not make good pets. Although they are not poisonous, they usually bite their prey to immobilize it before wrapping themselves tightly around the prey to kill it. --

Copyright 1999 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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