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Snake man lied about finding monster beast

Austrian Guenter Punschik, 48, praised for his bravery after fishing a giant boa constrictor out of a local river and handing it to cops has been exposed as a con man after police found he owned the beast.

Local media revealed how he had fished the beast out of the River Glan in Salzburg and it ended up at the Salzburg Haus der Natur after being passed on by the Österreichischer Tierschutzverein.

But later Punschik admitted he had been given it as a present when drunk - and had been horrified in the morning when he woke up in bed next to the snake and saw how big it was.

Punschik said: "I hadn’t noticed as it was dark and I couldn't even remember who gave it to me. I told the police that I had found it as I didn’t know what else to say and I had nowhere else to put it."

Punschik now faces the cost of the rescue operation and the costs of keeping the snake in the Salzburg Haus-der-Natur.

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