Video of a 3-year-old boy riding a dangerous 20-foot python went viral on Monday. The footage captured little Truong riding his family's pet snake after a flood in the streets of Thanh Hoa province in northern Vietnam. The child appeared to be happily astride the enormous reptile, which is known to devour children and small animals.

An Nguyen, Truong's aunt, was dismissive of comments that the whole thing was a hoax. She verified that Truong's family has kept the snake in their home for the last four years. According to The Daily Mail, the snake weighs approximately 180 pounds. 

"He is three years old and the python is 80kg (176 pounds)," Nguyen said. "The family have had the python for four years as a pet and it is very gentle.It was a rainy day and the water flooded to the edge of the yard. So they put the python in there to play and relax."

Floods in Vietnam this week have killed at least 54 people and thrown hundreds of thousands more out of their homes. 

Earlier this year, news out of Indonesia indicated that a 20-foot python devoured a man. Villagers later found the sated snake and cut it open to reveal the corpse of the man being digested inside.


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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.