By Mike Collis
A six meter (20 foot) boa constrictor attacked Graciela Murayari Pacaya (36), a modest resident of the village Santo Tomas, in whose vicinity are found extensive swamp lands from which it is believed that the snake emerged.
Graciela Murayari, after fishing in Lake Mapacocha, returned to her home in the village in order to drop off her fishing pole and then headed to a stream where she intended to clean her fish over a wooden raft.
At that instant the perilous reptile appeared and lunged at her. She screamed wildly for help, a call to which her nearby brother, Andrés Murayari Pacaya (31), responded immediately.
Courageously, and without a thought for his own personal safety, he killed the giant creature with one well-placed chop of his machete to its head before the astonished stares of onlookers who could not believe what had happened.
Presumedly this enormous boa, after having lived several days without food, left the swamp for the refreshing waters of the stream looking for some kind of prey to calm its appetite.
According to the other residents of the area, the appearance of the boa was not the first case of such an incident. In the past there had been other reports of similar attacks which were not publicized in an effort to avoid the spread of chaos and panic among the population of that peaceful village.
The people of Santo Tomas now fear approaching the stream and feel that they run the risk of being attacked by other giant boas.
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