A 54-year-old Indonesian woman was eaten alive by a 16-foot python in Jambi province, according to local media reports.

The woman, identified as Jahrah, had left her house on Sunday morning to work at a rubber plantation on the island of Sumatra. She was reported missing when she did not return that night.

The woman's husband, along with the villagers, started a search operation. Her husband could only find her sandals, headscarf, jacket and the tools she used at work.

The local authorities were called in to look for the woman. The following morning, they spotted a huge python with a swollen stomach.

"When the security team and residents conducted a search around the rubber plantation, then we found a python 7 metres long. It is this snake that is suspected of preying on the victim. After we caught him, we found the victim's body in the snake's stomach," said local police chief, AKP S Harefa.

A video of the moment the villagers started to attack the python has also gone viral on social media. People could be seen hitting it before they went on to pry open its stomach.

The locals claim that they had earlier seen an almost 27-foot-long python in the area and are now scared that there might be even bigger snakes there, writes The Independent.

Such incidents are rare, but this is not the first time that such a tragedy has been reported in Indonesia. In 2017, an Indonesian man's remains were found inside a 23ft-long python.

Pythons usually eat smaller animals and swallow their food whole. It is rare for pythons to kill or eat humans, although there have been some reports of the reptiles swallowing animals or young children.

The species are generally known to avoid human settlements, but they are believed to eye palm oil plantations to hunt for prey as they target animals like dogs, boars, or primates.

A python will wrap itself around its next meal and wait for the unfortunate creature to exhale before tightening its body around the prey to restrict its breath and kill it. The snake is able to sense the pulse of its prey slowing, so it knows when it is time for the next stage.

burmese pythons
A representative image of a python. Wiki creative commons/ Mariluna