There are many stories of snakes swallowing people, but only a few have
been authenticated - and, in most of these cases, the victims have either
been young children or babies.
One of the best-known examples occurred in November 1979, in northern Transvaal, South Africa, when a young Tswana herdsman was seized by an African rock python (Python sabae) measuring 4.5m (14ft 9in) in length. His friend ran to get help but when he returned with two elders, about 20 minutes later, the victim had already been entirely swallowed by the snake. The men pelted the snake with stones and attempted to kill it with a pick-axe until, eventually, it regurgitated its prey;unfortunately, the young man was already dead.