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Scary Moment Agta A Tribe Where A Quarter Of Men Died Under The Venom Of A Super Giant Snake

Mostly, the Agta fend off the serpents with machetes or shotguns. Only six people have actually been killed in the span of 39 years, including a man who was found inside a snake, and two children who were eaten by the same python on one fateful night. Without their iron weapons, the Agta would surely have lost more individuals to python coils.

Giant snakes frequently attack people in fantasy and science-fiction stories, but such attacks are not merely the stuff of fiction. Through his extensive work with the Agta, Headland has found that a quarter of all the men have been attacked by pythons.

“Three or four times, the pythons came into camp and killed chickens. One time, a man saw a snake coiled around his dog, and he killed it was a machete. My wife’s killed one python and I’ve killed one,” says Headland. The biggest he ever saw was a 6.9 metre monster, shot by his neighbour Kekek Aduanan. It was the third largest python on record.

But the Agta aren’t just victims. They’re proficient python-killers in their own right. All the men had probably killed smaller specimens at least once in their lives. After Kekek Aduanan shot the big python that Headland photographed, three hunters skinned and butchered the snake in under an hour.

Headland writes that reptile specialists have “long claimed that giant serpents eat humans only under exceptional circumstances”. But his study with the Agta – one of the few available for any hunter-gatherer groups – suggests otherwise. It shows that humans and giant snakes often come to blows.

Headland thinks that the threat of pythons would have significantly influenced the lives of the Agta, especially before they made contact with Westerners and gained access to metal tools.

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