Teachers were terrified after finding a huge 17ft-long killer python searching for food in a school yard in Thailand.
Caretaker Sunchai Yodjaiyen, 36, was taking out rubbish to bins in front of a school when he spotted the giant reptile slithering along the ground in Chachoengsao province on April 7.
He was driving a backhoe when the snake surfaced so he tried to use the bucket to secure the animal but without success.
As the snake was too long, the worker could not handle it by himself so he immediately called the animal rescuers for assistance.
Sunchai said he feared that the snake would escape into the nearby school building and harm people if it was not caught right away.
He said: ‘The snake was huge but it was fast. I feared that the snake would get into the school building if it was not caught immediately so I called for help.
‘I believe it had been here for a long time hunting cats and dogs for food because there have been several reported missing pets recently.’
Sunchai raised the alarm and teachers rushed out to see. They called the emergency services and snake wranglers arrived, who pinned down the huge snake’s neck using a catching pole before its size was measured.
One of the rescue volunteers said the snake may have been nesting in the pile of garbage that gathered on the yard and was disturbed when construction in the area started.
He said: ‘The snake may have been nesting under the pile of rubbish. We checked the are for more snakes but found none so far.’
The giant reptile was placed in a sack before it was taken by the rescue team to be released in the wild later.