‘World’s largest snake’ shrinks to half reported size

'World's largest snake' shrinks to half reported size - The Guardian, January 4, 2004
The Guardian did exactly what 2Bangkok.com would have done if the giant snake were in Thailand--they went over and measured it themselves: If Fragrant ever extends to 14.85m long he will be the most mind-boggling animal on earth because I measured him at somewhere between 6.5 and 7m... None of the pythons Shine has encountered weighed more than 100kg; he described the allegation that Fragrant weighs up to 447kg as "delightful".
...Barker has two theories to account for the evolution of the record claim. They both centre on an allegation by Darmanto that Fragrant is in fact the spiritual ruler of the Kubu, a remote Sumatran tribe that shuns the outside world, and it took a year of negotiations with the elders before he could take it away. "If this is a spiritual ruler snake then perhaps it really can stretch and change size," Barker says. "The other is that the true giant snake remains in the jungle with the admiring tribe and it took them the year of negotiations to find another reticulated python] large enough to give to the government."

Earlier: World's longest snake goes on show at tiny Indonesian zoo - AFP, December 30, 2003
Also: World's Largest Snake Caught - AP, December 29, 2003
Indonesian villagers claim to have captured a python that is almost 49.21 feet long and weighs nearly 992.07 pounds, an official said Monday. If confirmed, it would be the largest snake ever kept in captivity...
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