Sunday, February 18, 2007

A snake story

A bereaved widow's story about her husband being devoured by a boa constrictor made headlines in Paraguay this week, but it turned out to be a tall tale by a woman who felt abandoned.

Maria Estela Lima, a housewife in the small town of Puerto Piasco, 370 miles north of Paraguay's capital, Asuncion, told a local radio station a giant boa had eaten her husband.

She said a 10-metre-long snake had grabbed her husband from a boat on the Paraguay river and wrapped him up before swallowing him.

She said two local men killed the boa to remove her husband's remains and she asked the community for help to maintain her three small children.

The story spread quickly and was on the front covers of Paraguay's newspapers, but Pedro Palacio, a state prosecutor who looked into the case, told reporters the husband had been found in perfect health working on a ranch.

The woman said she had made up the story because she felt resentful and abandoned.

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