Australian police find 5.7m python in Queensland shop

Python found in charity shop Police initially thought a person had fallen through the roof

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A 5.7m (19ft) python has been seized after it fell from the ceiling of a charity shop in Australia.

The python, weighing 17kg (37lbs), was recovered by a snake-handler after police investigated a suspected break-in at the shop in Ingham, Queensland.

"Its head was the size of a small dog," said police spokesman Sgt Don Auld.

The snake fell through a ceiling panel, smashing shop goods. Police said it may have got in through the roof, which was damaged by Cyclone Yasi in 2011.

When police were initially called to the property on Monday, they believed a person had fallen through the ceiling because the roof panel had been cut in half.

Crockery, clothes and other goods were scattered all over the floor.

Police were called back to the shop the following day when a large crowd formed outside.

Sgt Auld said the snake must have been hiding when police went there the first time.

It has been released in nearby wetlands.

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