A forest range officer in the Indian state of West Bengal learned his lesson the hard way when it comes to taking selfies on the job. According to NDTV the ranger had been called in by villagers to capture the rock python because it had killed and eaten a goat.
Ranger Sanjoy Dutta and his assistants helped to trap the snake in the village in Jalpaiguri 373 miles from Kolkata. Dutta then decided to hang the 18-foot snake, which weighed in at roughly 88 lbs, around his neck and pose for pics with villagers. That’s when the python began to wrap itself around Dutta’s neck — nearly strangling him. Thankfully villagers and members of his team helped to free him.
The normal procedure in such cases is the snake would be stuffed into a sack and carried away, to be released into the forest later.
#WATCH Narrow escape for Sanjoy Dutta, Range Officer of Baikunthapur Forest in Jalpaiguri after a python he rescued from a village almost strangled him to death while he was posing for selfies with locals. #WestBengal pic.twitter.com/KroJHOCOkk
— ANI (@ANI) June 18, 2018
Twitter users sided with the snake…
Cheering for the snake #TeamSnake
— This234 (@This234c) June 18, 2018
Sad…how we treat wildlife
— Sunbird (@sagarika2308) June 17, 2018
It's a shame it wasn't successful
— World Cup (@WorldCupQuips) June 18, 2018
Some offered a PSA as a bit of insight into why the ranger should have known better…
This is called manhandling. An animal has to be put away in a bag or a box immediately after capture. Prolonging hold on its neck isn't good for its survival. Posing with selfies is not a part of any rescue operation https://t.co/6xY90OsfIx
— Janaki Lenin (@JanakiLenin) June 18, 2018
And now a word about safety pic.twitter.com/AF1z7v8Tny
— Last Pirate in LA (@Bonnielynnmarie) June 18, 2018
Most thought the ranger made a dumb choice that almost cost him his life…
His only chance to be famous turned out to be a meme kinda embarassment!!
— Saurav Rathi (@rathi_saurav) June 17, 2018
Exactly! 30 seconds of fame nearly cost the ranger's life. The animal was only reacting instinctively because it felt threatened. Would've been another “death by selfie.”
— Trishna W. (@WahengD) June 18, 2018
…and they had little sympathy for his antics…
Serves him right! Selfie with a python…what next? https://t.co/DSl2HZ1f8Q
— Vidya Sinha (@vidsin) June 18, 2018
— YodaView (@raghuveer_r) June 17, 2018
Selfie fever…. irresponsible
— O+ve CA (@canikhilgupta) June 17, 2018
I’m sorry but this is funny.
— Black Baron Mordo (@Adibogodi) June 18, 2018
…even offering evidence of the camera shy python’s historic dislike for selfies:
Just like this! pic.twitter.com/wiX2pTMfPQ
— Madhuri Rao (@theredditgirl) June 18, 2018
The rock python is slated to be released back into the Baikanthapur forest near the Sahib Bari village that originally witnessed the ranger’s near demise on Sunday afternoon.
— -Za (@Zha_Nay) June 18, 2018