A teenage boy's regular walk home from school in Edendale, KwaZulu-Natal, was stopped short by a huge python earlier this month.
"I got a call from a boy called Thami. He said there was python in a nearby veld," Nick Evans, the owner of the KwaZulu-Natal Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, told News24.
At first Evans thought it was a false sighting and asked Thami to send him a picture.
"Often, people call and say there is a python but then it isn't one."
Once Evans received photographic evidence he dashed to Edendale.
When he arrived, he found a crowd had gathered around the reptile, which had coiled itself into a ball.
Evans carefully approached the snake and was able to grab its tail.
"The python was severely underweight," he said.
Subsequently, he took the reptile to the vet for medical attention.
Just as Evans was about to end his work day, he received another call - this time from police officers in the district of Nsuze near Nkandla.
Locals in the area had also stumbled on a python.
When he arrived in Nsuze, he was told a traditional healer had taken the snake and dropped it into an empty pit. With the help of the police, Evans was able to gain access to the snake.
He found it coiled up in the pit looking lethargic.
The snake was also underweight and required medical attention.