Neville Jackson was able to remove the snake from his son's arm after a 10-minute battle. Source: Emma Jackson

Python tries to eat sleeping teen in Queensland before parents rush to his rescue

A far north Queensland couple struggled for 10 minutes to prise a three-metre scrub python off their son after it sank its teeth into his hand.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service said the snake attacked the boy, 14, on January 8, coiling around his right arm while he slept in bed, sinking its teeth into his hand and refusing to let go.

Emma and Neville Jackson woke to the sound of screams from their son Ryan, the ABC has reported.

They tried desperately to pull their son free, but the snake only tightened its grip and sank its teeth further into his left hand.

After a 10-minute struggle, Mr Jackson used a platypus money box to force the snake's jaw open far enough for Ryan to free his hand, the public broadcaster says.

"We've taught our children not to fear snakes because they're everywhere, but this one was hungry and aggressive and not keen to let go," Mrs Jackson told the ABC.

The family was grateful the snake did not attack their four-year-old daughter who may not have survived if attacked.

"Ryan took one for the team in a way because I think the snake would have killed her, the aggression behind that snake, it would have taken her," she told the ABC.

The boy, who was flown to Cairns hospital by the flying doctor, was not seriously injured.

The scrub python is common in Australia and can grow to 8.5 metres, making it the sixth largest snake in the world.

The snake's diet generally consists of birds, bats, rats, possums, and other small mammals.

Larger specimens catch and eat wallabies.

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