Man Comes Home to Find Huge Python Coiled Around Possum He Named Reggie

A possum found hanging upside down in the grasp of a large carpet python was rescued by quick-thinking residents this week in Australia.

John Fegan, of Kenmore, a suburb of Brisbane in Queensland, contacted a local snake wrangler after returning home on Tuesday morning to find the constrictor poking out of a nesting box with its body tightly coiled around the possum.

Pictures taken by Fegan uploaded to Facebook on Tuesday showed the possum, which he named Reggie, was left hanging upside down in the air. Experts later said if the snake had got the possum around the chest it would have meant certain death.

Carpet python's do not use venom to attack or incapacitate their prey, but instead wrap themselves around their victim's body to cause suffocation. They generally target frogs, lizards, birds and mammals, according to a Queensland Museum fact-sheet.

Fegan told Newsweek that he has had a possum box on his property since around 2011 and Reggie appeared last year after another "long term female tenant" possum used the box over the prior seven or eight years, but disappeared after having babies.

The homeowner said he saw the carpet python—which was estimated to be around 8 foot in length—as it was still in the process of attacking the possum.

He said: "I arrived home from the gym on Tuesday morning to be greeted by the sight of a very large python hanging from the door of the possum box with its tail wrapped around the back legs of a very distressed possum which was very much alive. The snake's head was out of the box, it was apparently trying to vacate the premises."

The man said he contacted a local snake wrangler who advised him to keep the snake occupied as he traveled to the Kenmore residence.

Fegan said he managed to keep the snake in the area by maintaining its attention and poking it with a broom. And he praised the reaction of the wrangler who arrived on the scene, noting that he had remained "amazingly calm and collected."

"He nonchalantly unravelled the snake's tail, grabbed the possum in one hand and then grabbed the snakes head and extracted it from the box, chatting to us as we watched. He said the fact that the snake hadn't been able to get the possum round the chest is the reason it was still alive and decided to take it to the RSPCA," Fegan said.

If the possum recovers from the encounter, Fegan was told it would be returned to his property because the species is territorial. The snake was being released elsewhere. "I have been told that I need to arrange an escape hatch in the box," Fegan said.

Carpet python (Stock)
Stock: Carpet python. A possum found hanging upside down in the grasp of a large carpet python in Australia this week was rescued by quick-thinking residents. iStock