A toddler who was attacked by a python was saved by his family in Queensland, Australia, last week. His mother, Amanda Rutland, was caught off-guard when she found her 22-month-old son Naish with a python wrapped around his body on October 13, The New Daily reported.

The boy was playing with his sister Evie-Blue, 3, when the snake attacked. Rutland said she was on the phone with her mother when she noticed Evie-Blue retreating from Naish. To her surprise, the snake was coiling around the toddler and biting his upper arm.

Rutland tried to get the reptile off her son, but it was too strong for her. The python’s head was as “as big as my hand,” said Rutland. She called out for her father Ronald to help and the two battled to remove the snake.

Ronald squeezed the snake’s head for 15 seconds which did little, so he grabbed a knife and stabbed the snake in its spine four to five times before it let go. Amanda said there was no intention to kill the animal, but there was no other way to get the snake off he son. Ronald reportedly had to behead the snake to stop it from coiling around him.

Naish sustained three bites on his arm and was treated at Cairns hospital. He has since made a full recovery.

Pythons are non-venomous and are mostly shy and can be kept as pets. However, they can attack when they feel threatened.