Three-metre anaconda terrifies Kazakh village

ALMATY - A three-metre anaconda, which fell off a circus truck on a dusty steppe road, terrified residents of a small village in Kazakhstan for a day, one of its residents said Thursday.

A box containing the South American snake fell off a circus truck when traffic police briefly stopped it for a document check near the village of Aksu-Ayuly in central Kazakhstan on Tuesday, said Zhanara Ospanova, the village resident.

"A police officer asked the driver to open the back to show what he was carrying," she said. "Afterward, the driver hadn't shut the door tightly and when the truck moved, the box with the anaconda fell out."

Police and emergency services spent a day looking for the non-venomous reptile around the village of some 6,000 residents.

"All residents of our village became alarmed, we were afraid that the snake would crawl into our homes," Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency quoted Ospanova as saying.

"We also participated in the search, wandered along the road in the steppe, but very carefully so as not to fall victim to the snake," she said.

The anaconda was eventually found in a metal box near a roadside cafe on the outskirts of the village located on the road connecting the vast Central Asian state's capital Astana with its financial capital Almaty.

Roughly the size of western Europe, Kazakhstan is a mostly steppe country wedged between Russia and China.


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