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Rangers catch 20-foot python bare-handed

The team removed it from near villages and released it back into the wild.

Kenyan rangers captured a 20-foot python with nothing but their bare hands and an old sack.

“Led by Cpl Gikonyo, this team skillfully captured this python from a community land within Lake Nakuru and released it back into the wild,” the Kenya Wildlife Service posted on its Twitter account.

The large python was caught south of Nakuru, the capital city of Nakuru County, last week in western Kenya, northwest of Nairobi.

Along with a video posted on the wildlife service’s Twitter account, the wildlife service states,  “A short story of courage, heroism and going beyond the call of duty to capture and rescue wildlife, the officers managed to fish out a 6-meter (20-foot)- long dangerous python that was straying to near villages in Nakuru.”

The video shows several men, some armed with assault rifles and sticks, crouched in the overgrowth. Using their hands, they lift the enormous snake out of its hiding place and stretch it out on a path leading to a nearby building.

While it is not known which species of python was caught, Africa’s largest snake is the rock python, which grows to 20 feet long, according to National Geographic.

There are dozens of species of pythons around the world. Within Africa, pythons live in warm, wet climates. While some species live in rain forests, “others are found in grasslands, woodlands, swamps, rocky outcrops, dunes and shrubs,” according to the San Diego Zoo. “Pythons shelter in hollows, under rocks, in abandoned mammal burrows and tree branches, depending on the species.”

“African rock pythons are carnivores and feed primarily on terrestrial vertebrates, including monkeys, crocodiles, large lizards, and antelope. They will sometimes take fish as well. If African rock pythons live near humans, family pets and livestock may be eaten,” the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology posted on its Animal Diversity Web.

Pythons are not venomous and generally do not attack humans. They will bite and possibly constrict if they feel threatened.

Edited by Judy Isacoff.

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