Police are investigating whether a man was killed by his pet python after his body was found next to the snake.

Dan Brandon, an experienced snake handler, was found with "serious injuries" at his home in Church Crookham, Hampshire police said.

The 31-year-old is believed to have lived with his parents and was discovered in his bedroom, where he kept his pets, on August 25. 

 

Dan Brandon, 31, a wildlife lover who kept a number of large pet snakes,

One of his snakes, which can grow up to 25ft long, was outside of its pen when his body was discovered by officers.

It is thought that the python crushed the snake lover to death, after an officer for North Hampshire Coroner's Court said: "we have established that the cause of death was asphyxia".

She added that all the evidence would be heard by Coroner Andrew Bradley in the next few days before a conclusion was made. 

A Hampshire Police spokesman confirmed that officers were carrying out inquiries into the circumstances surrounding death on behalf of the coroner.

A source close to the investigation told the Sun: "It is under investigation whether the snake was involved. The death is in an investigation stage between natural causes and an inquest. Investigators are waiting for the full toxicology results and reports to come back from a post-mortem.

"Depending on the results, an inquest may be opened."

Pythons are non-venomous but have been known to attack people when they feel threatened. If it is confirmed the snake is behind Brandon's death, experts believe it would be the first case of its kind in Britain.

 

Dan Brandon, 31, a wildlife lover who kept a number of large pet snakes,

Brandon regularly posted photos of himself on social media with his pets including a huge Burmese python draped over his body.

Friend John Cottrell has set up JustGiving fundraising pages in Mr Brandon's memory.

He wrote: "On August 25th Dan unexpectedly passed away at home. He was obsessed with snakes, spiders, birds and all wildlife, in his memory we have set up two fundraising pages, one for WWF and one for RSPB.

"We have struggled when looking for photos for his funeral to find any when he isn't holding a spider, snake, small bird, toad, slow worm, hedgehog, feeding a fox, stroking cattle, befriending a cat or dog so these charities seemed the perfect choice. In memory of you Dan.... who we will all miss so much."

A Hampshire Police spokesman said: "We were called at 8.21pm on Friday 25 August to an address in Church Crookham.

"A 31-year-old man had suffered serious injuries and died at the scene.

"The death is not being treated as suspicious at this stage.

"A file will be prepared for the coroner."

 

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