Cops free store owner from grip of huge python

Terry Wilkins was attacked while trying to clean the huge snake's enclosure at his store in Newport, Kentucky. (YouTube)

The owner of a Kentucky reptile store had to be rescued by police after a 20-foot-long (6-metre) python weighing up to 125 pounds (57kg) wrapped around him, authorities said.

Terry Wilkins was tangled up with the snake when two police officers arrived at the Captive Born Reptiles store in Newport, Kentucky, a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio, at around noon on Monday.

"When officers arrived on the scene, they located the victim who was total(ly) unconscious with a large snake wrapped around his head and neck," according to a Newport police report.

The officers grabbed the snake by the head and unwrapped it from Wilkins, who was not breathing, the report said. He began to breathe as rescue squad workers arrived, it said.

Wilkins was treated at a Cincinnati hospital with nearly two dozen stitches to his arm where the snake bit him and went home later on Monday, according to a colleague, who declined to give his name. Wilkins could not be reached immediately for comment on Tuesday.

According to the police report, a woman who was with Wilkins at the time told an investigator he was cleaning the snake's glass cage when it clamped onto his arm.

Wilkins told her to fill a bleach bottle with hot water to help get the snake to release him, but she did not have enough water initially and when she returned from refilling the bottle, the snake had wrapped itself around Wilkins and began choking him, the report said.

The snake was unharmed.

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