An Indian forest ranger had a brush with death when a python he'd captured in an eastern village attempted to strangle him in front of dozens of onlookers.

Sanjay Dutta and his colleagues had been called to Jalpaiguri, in India's West Bengal state after two of the dangerous snakes had been reported in the area.

But instead of placing a captured snake immediately into a sack, he decided to show off one of them to the village by placing it around his neck, and posing for a selfie.

The roughly 66-pound animal then started to choke him, before his colleagues jumped in to release him.

Dutta played down the incident, claiming he'd taken selfies with a countless number of snakes before and stating it was blown out of proportion.