Rescuers' epic tug-of-war with python that lived under house eating family's pet cats

Snake rescuers in Thailand had an epic hour-long tug-of-war with a python that had been living under a house for over a year - slowly killing off the owner's pet cats.

Pensioner Ruang Peung, 65, called the emergency services last Friday night (November 23) after he caught sight of the serpent slithering out of his back door.

One of his cats had also disappeared the same day.

Animal handlers in Chachoengsao Province, east of Bangkok, arrived and began searching for the snake, which was discovered curled up under the foundations of the wooden home.

They spent over an hour trying to yank the determined reptile free, but it had stubbornly wrapped itself around a beam inside its hiding place.

Two men pulled the snakes tail with all their strength and a third man had to kick the upper part of its body before it eventually came loose.

Relieved pensioner Ruang, who is retired, said: ''Five or six of my cats that live with me may garden have disappeared in the last year. I am sure the snake has been living here for a long time. I've been sleeping in my bed and underneath me it has been there.

'''I'm still in shock. I feel sorry for all the cats that it has taken. But I am relieved that it has finally been caught.''

Staff from the Chachoengsao Rescue Foundation put the snake inside a sack before it was driven several miles away to be released back into the wild.