Cops put squeeze on alleged python biter in Calif.

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Associated Press

Posted on September 2, 2011 at 7:32 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 2 at 7:32 PM

SACRAMENTO, California (AP) — A snake bite left the victim seriously hurt, but the injured party isn't whom you'd expect.

Police say a python underwent emergency surgery after a man allegedly bit the creature twice.

Officers were called to Del Paso Heights around 6:30 p.m. Thursday after a passer-by reported that a man was lying on the ground and may have been assaulted, according to Sgt. Andrew Pettit. When they arrived, they found David Senk, 54, still lying there — but police say he wasn't the one who was assaulted.

Another man approached officers and accused Senk of taking two bites out of his 3-foot (one-meter) pet python, Pettit said.

Senk was arrested on suspicion of unlawfully maiming or mutilating a reptile and booked on $10,000 bail.

In a jailhouse interview with KXTL-TV on Friday, Senk said he had no memory of the incident and that he has a drinking problem.

"I did what?" Senk said. "If you find the owner, tell him I'm real sorry. ... I'm willing to help pay for medical expenses."

The snake was turned over to the city's Animal Care Services, where it was recovering Friday after losing several ribs. The female python, about a couple years old, had extensive bite injuries, said Gina Knepp, acting animal care services manager.

"You could see the poor snake's liver, all the way down the side," Knepp said.

The snake's owner has not yet come forward to claim the pet or file a report with animal care officials, Knepp said.

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