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A Kentucky pet store owner has been nearly crashed to death by a massive python he was feeding.

Newport Kentucky police said they were called to Captive Born Reptiles and found the snake wrapped around the man.

Terry Wilkens was not breathing when the officers pried the python off him but he resumed breathing shortly afterwards.

The python weighed about 125lb and measured 20ft long.

“It was only by the grace of God that one of the officers knew how to deal with snakes,” Newport Kentucky Police Chief Tom Collins told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Officer Gregory Ripberger grabbed the snake by its head and uncurled the python from Terry Wilkens.Kentucky python attacks pet store owner

Tom Collins said Terry Wilkens was recovering at a hospital in nearby Cincinnati, Ohio, and he was alert and talking. The type of python that attacked pet store worker was not disclosed.

Terry Wilkens’ daughter, Keiko Wilkens, said in a statement the incident was overblown and her father had recovered. She said her father’s life was never in danger.

According to its website, the pet shop – which has two locations – specializes in breeding reptiles rather than selling wild animals.