A man has won a desperate struggle to free his penis from a four-metre-long snake that struck from below when he sat on a toilet in Thailand.
Atthaporn Boonmakchuay, speaking from his hospital bed after regaining consciousness, described how a python slithered out of an Asian-style squat toilet, fastened its jaws around the end of his penis and refused to let go.
Atthaporn told news outlet Khon Khao Bang Pakong that as he squatted over the toilet, the giant python rose from the depths.
With help from his wife, the 38-year-old victim freed himself and was taken to a nearby hospital. Pictures of Atthaporn in a hospital bed, flanked by grinning doctors, have appeared in Thai media. Authorities suspect the python entered a sewer pipe that led directly to the toilet. The snake was captured and has now been released into the wild.
While squat toilets, sometimes the abode of rats, present occasional hazards to locals and travellers, using western-style sit-down toilets in developing countries can entail other risks.
A few years ago, an Australian travel insurance company related the tale of a client who had sat on a cracked toilet in a seedy bar in a Southeast Asian country, only to have the toilet bowl to disintegrate under his weight.
The hapless Aussie traveller was lanced in the nether regions by shards of toilet porcelain and needed urgent medical attention. Not surprisingly, given the unsanitary source of the injury, infection set in. The victim ended up being medically evacuated to hospital for extensive treatment. He eventually made a full recovery and all expenses were covered by his travel insurance.
Written by Peter Needham