A Pennsylvania man was wrapped by a massive snake around its neck, prompting responding cops to shoot the pet in the head, police said.

On Wednesday afternoon, Cops were called after the reptile violently attacked its owner at the 1400 block of Church Street in Fogelsville, southeastern Pennsylvania.

When patrol officers arrived on the scene, they observed a 28-year-old man who was unresponsive and lying on the floor of the home with the mid portion of a large snake wrapped around his neck, according to the news release.

At first, officers tried to cut the snake off the man’s neck with a knife. But struggling to do so – and running out of time – an officer stepped back and shot it through the head.

Once the snake was injured from the gunshot, the officers were able to pull the man to safety, at which time emergency medical care was provided, according to the news release.

Here’s what Lt. Peter Nickischer said of the Upper Macungie Township Police Department:

“Because the snake was so large, the midsection of the snake was wrapped around the throat. The head of the snake was just far enough away from the victim that the officer made a split-second decision and he proceeded to shoot the snake in the head.”

“It wasn’t like it just died. It started to slither away, luckily away from the officers, away from the direction that they were trying to pull this gentleman.” Lt. Nickischer said. “They realized it was a matter of life and death with seconds to make that decision. Praise the officers. They did what they had to do. It was a safe shoot.”

He was reportedly still hospitalized Thursday, though his current condition remains unknown, according to news reports.

Washington Post reported:

Police did not identify the species of the snake. The pet reptile died after it released its grip on the man’s neck and slithered away.

According to neighbors, the man was seen several times holding snakes in his front yard, WPVI-TV reported. The neighbors said that the man also had other snakes at home.

Nickischer praised his colleagues in a Thursday interview with The Post. “They went in, they saw an opportunity to save a man, and they showed a lot of bravery as far as I’m concerned,” he said.

Sources: WesternJournal, KYW-TV, WPVI-TV, Washington Post

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