The booming business of snakeskin


The booming business of snakeskin

4 February 2019
Deep in the Indonesian jungle, reticulated pythons are being slaughtered by the thousands. 

Not quickly, or humanely — but tantalisingly, agonisingly and monstrously slowly.

First, they are smashed on the head with a mallet — not hard enough to kill them, just to stun them, which makes it possible to wrench their jaws open and shove a hosepipe down their throats.

Their bodies are then filled with water and secured with elastic bands at both ends. 

This bloats them like balloons and makes it easier — once their heads are nailed to a meat hook and a couple of incisions have been made — to skin them with a few hard yanks, before their still-live bodies are thrown onto a pile.

But this doesn't kill them.