US & Canada

California man arrested for biting pet python twice

A Burmese python
Image caption The injured party was not who the police expected

A man in the Californian city of Sacramento has been accused of biting a pet snake, leaving the python seriously hurt, police say.

Police were called to the northern part of the city on Thursday evening expecting to respond to an assault.

While officers were speaking to David Senk, 54, found lying at the scene, a witness accused him of taking two bites out of the snake.

The python is recovering after being given emergency surgery.

It was turned over to the city's Animal Care Services after losing a few ribs.

"She's doing well," Gina Knepp, acting animal care services manager, told the Sacramento Bee. "We did surgery on her last night and I think we saved her life."

Mr Senk was arrested on suspicion of unlawfully maiming or mutilating a reptile.

While in jail, Mr Senk told local media that he had no memory of the incident and that he had a drinking problem.

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

No owner has come forward to claim the python from Sacramento's Animal Care Services.

Ms Knepp said before the surgery that the bites on the three-foot snake were large enough to expose the animal's liver.