A Queensland mother is crediting a rush of adrenaline with giving her enough strength to pry a two metre-long python from her sleeping daughter's arm.
Tess Guthrie was awoken in the early hours of Sunday morning in her home in Queensland by the hissing of her cat.
Reaching for the light on her mobile phone, Guthrie found a snake wrapped tightly around the arm of her sleeping two-year-old daughter Zara.
"Automatically, I jumped," Guthrie told the Brisbane Times.
"I don't know if my movement startled the snake, but that's when it started to constrict around her arm and then it just started to strike at her, and it got her three times.
"And on the third time [it was biting down on her] I grabbed the snake on the head I pulled her and the snake apart from each other.
"In my head I was just going through this unbelievable terror, and my thought was that it was going to actually kill her at first, because it was wrapped so tight."
Guthrie managed to fling the snake across the room.
"Her little arm was bleeding really bad from the bites, and all I could feel was blood and Zara was screaming by that stage, and I was in hysterics because it was such a shocking thing to wake up to," she said.
"It was just terrifying. I don't know how ... I was able to pull it off."
Guthrie's quick thinking has been commended by a reptile expert as a "textbook" case of how to deal with a startled python.
Tex's Snake Removals' Tex Tillis, who removed the reptile, said the coastal python was not looking for a meal, just a "group hug".
"Pythons, underneath their bottom lip have a row of sensors which evolution has equipped them with to see the world in infrared. In the dark, baby and mother sleeping in the bed would look like a lump of heat," Tillis said.
Once the python felt under attack, Tillis said it would have started to constrict.
"That snake, if it was bigger, could have crushed the baby. It could have tried to eat the baby, yes," he said.
"And when mum went to save [the child] it could have wrapped her hands like the best police manacles around ... and then thrown a loop around her neck and killed her. It's all in self-defence."
This python was a junior, between five and 10 years old and 1.85 metres long, Tillis said.