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Deadly Exotic Pets: African Rock Pythons Are More Dangerous Than the Burmese Python

Updated on August 7, 2013

Small African Rock Python

African Rock Python in a tree
African Rock Python in a tree | Source

African Rock Python Constricting a Goat

African Rock Python Constricting a Goat
African Rock Python Constricting a Goat | Source

African Rock Python in Hand

African Rock Python held during a demonstration to US Troops
African Rock Python held during a demonstration to US Troops | Source

African Rock Python Can Eat a Man

Rock Python Swallowing a Buck

Rock Python trying to swallow a buck
Rock Python trying to swallow a buck | Source

Steve Masek Quote

"It got me by the nose, baby."

-Steve Masek on Animal Planet (as he tries to pry the African Rock Python off of his nose)

Pythons Are Not Gentle Pets

Exotic pets may be interesting to look at, but they don't make nice playmates.

On August 5, 2013, an African Rock Python escaped its enclosure from the Reptile Ocean exotic pet store. It slithered up through the ventilation system into the owner's apartment. Two young boys - ages 5 and 7 - were playing in the apartment, and were crushed to death by the snake during their sleepover. The town of Campbellton, New Brunswick (Canada) is devastated at the news.

Typical Diet of African Rock Pythons

African Rock Pythons typically feed on monkeys, antelopes, and warthogs. If in dire straits, they will resort to taking on crocodiles. Their diet in residential areas have been noted as dogs, goats, birds, and rats. They will also attack small children.

An Experts Says...

An expert herpetologist, Kenneth Krysko, commented on African Rock Pythons in a National Geographic article in 2009, pointing out that the African Rock Pythons are so vicious that they come right out of the egg striking at anything.

Even the store owner at the Reptile Ocean exotic pet store said the snake was vicious. He personally pinned and caged the snake, and said that no one typically handles this snake because of its aggressiveness.

In the Wild, Pythons are a Nuisance

Pythons may be nice to look at behind glass, but in the wild, they pose a threat to natural wildlife.

Florida has been battling pythons since they have invaded the Everglades. It is suspected that they were first introduced to the Florida Everglades when exotic pet owners released their pets into the wild, interrupting the natural ecosystem.

Police captured a 14 ft. Burmese python on August 05, 2013 in southern Florida, as a resident was cleaning out his shed.

Florida experts say that African Rock Pythons are even more dangerous than Burmese pythons, because of their aggressiveness.

The longest Burmese Python found on record in Florida was almost 19 ft. long.

Animal Plant Featured Man-Eating "Super Snake"

The week of May 20-27 2013, cable channel Animal Planet aired a special "Devoured: Man-Eating Super Snake Returns."

In this special, a snake expert from Florida - Steve Masek - was on the hunt for a 9 ft. Burmese python under the pretense that it had the taste of humans on its tongue.

Steve Masek captured the snake, but somehow the snake freed itself from its cage in transport back to the Calusa Nature Center. This snake was very aggressive, and even latched on to Steve Masek's face. This was all caught on film (see video below).

Steve Masek then had to pry the snakes mouth off of his face as it sunk its fangs into his nose.

It took another person to assist Steve from being choked to death. He was able to get his hands up to prevent the snake from constricting his throat, as the other person worked to loosen the snake's grip on Steve's body.

Watch a YouTube clip of this terrifying event below.

Steve Masek Fights a Burmese Python on Animal Planet

© 2013 zeke2100


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    • Phillip Grobler profile image

      Phillip Grobler 

      4 years ago from Polokwane

      My love for exotic pets will never die but some are just not meant to be kept, as someone that lives in South Africa my African Rock Python was one of my most praised in my collection that was passed on from my dads collection, easy to handle and very tame but after the snake turned 8 years in age it just became a nightmare, bitten not once but twice, once on my left arm that took 5 months to recover in order to move my fingers properly again, shortly after my first recovery again on the shoulder and this is where i gave it to the local zoo located in Johannesburg as the bite was way to close to my neck.

      This article is well written voted up, useful and interesting.

    • zeke2100 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      This article is specifically about African Rock Pythons being aggressive. Thanks for reading.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      While African Rock Pythons are aggressive and should only be handled by experienced reptile owners or Herpetologists. Claiming a snake is capable of eating a human at a mere 9 feet is simple fear mongering at best. Not all python species are "violent" as coined in the article above. My Ball Python hides in my shirt and is easily startled by the pre killed rat I feed him.

    • Monis Mas profile image


      6 years ago

      Interesting, and terrifying :-). Voyed up!


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