RIO DE JANEIRO, May 21 (RIA Novosti) - A farmer in Brazil's northwestern state of Amazonas killed a 5-meter (16-foot) anaconda he discovered in his chicken pen, national media reported on Thursday.
Marcu Santus said he discovered the anaconda preparing to swallow the chickens, and feared that the snake could pose a threat to small children in the area.
"The snake remained still for quite a while and I was able run and get my rifle and kill it. When snakes like this can't find food, they become dangerous," Santus said.
Due to severe flooding in northern Brazil over the past two months, cases of wild animals entering villagers' homes have become frequent. Although killing an anaconda is illegal under Brazilian law, in some cases it can be justified if the snake poses a risk to a person's life or property.
The anaconda is one of the largest snakes in the world, and the largest in South America, reaching up to 11 meters in length, and weighing some 150 kilograms (330 pounds). Several cases have been documented of anacondas eating people living near tropical forests in Brazil.