Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Snake born with hand shocks scientists
10:30 AEST Wed Sep 16 20098 hours 31 minutes ago
By ninemsn staff
An elderly Chinese woman who discovered a snake with a clawed hand protruding from its body was so scared she beat it to death, according to reports.
Xiu Qiong Duan, 68, told the SINA Beijing news agency she woke up in the middle of the night to find the snake clinging to the wall of her bedroom.
"I woke up and heard a strange scratching sound ... at first I thought it was thieves" she said.
"I turned on the light and saw this monster working its way along the wall using his claw."
Ms Duan, from Suining in southwest China, said she then grabbed a shoe and beat the snake to death.
She reportedly preserved its body in a bottle of alcohol which she gave to the Life Sciences Department at China's West Normal University in Nanchang.
Snake expert Long Shuai said the discovery of the creature, which is 40cm long and the thickness of a little finger, was "truly shocking".
"We won't know the cause until we've conducted an autopsy," she said.