Official’s Python on the Loose in Phnom Penh

A 10-kg python is on the loose in Phnom Penh after escaping from the Tuol Kok district apartment of National Committee for Disaster Management First Vice Chairman Nhim Vanda last week.

Mr. Vanda said Sunday he had been keeping the recently acquired constrictor at the apartment with the intention of transferring it to one of his two private zoos.

“It went missing four days ago…two days after I brought it from Preah Vihear province,” he said.

Mr. Vanda said he did not know how the stealthy serpent managed to escape its cage and that a man taking care of his apartment saw it climb onto a nearby tree and into a sewer before he could catch it.

He said his staff and some neighbors were searching for the animal and that he had not reported the case to authorities.

Mr. Vanda said he obtained the snake free of charge from a friend, whom he refused to identify, and was planning to send it to his zoo in Kampot province.

In September, another python belonging to Mr. Vanda escaped from the zoo and swallowed two pigs at a farm 7 km away before being recaptured.

Mr. Vanda has another zoo in Prey Veng province.

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