The owner of a US reptile shop had to be rescued by police after a six-metre (20ft) long python weighing up to 57kg (126lbs) wrapped around him, police said.

Terry Wilkins was tangled up with the snake when two police officers arrived at the Captive Born Reptiles store in Newport, Kentucky at around noon on Monday.

"When officers arrived on the scene, they located the victim who was totally unconscious with a large snake wrapped around his head and neck," according to a Newport police report.

The officers grabbed the snake by the head and unwrapped it from Mr Wilkins, who was not breathing, the report said. He began to breathe as rescue squad workers arrived, it said.

It is understood Mr Wilkins was treated in hospital with nearly two dozen stitches to his arm where the snake bit him and went home later that day.

According to the police report, a woman who was with Mr Wilkins at the time told an investigator he was cleaning the snake's glass cage when it clamped onto his arm.

He told her to fill a bleach bottle with hot water to help get the snake to release him, but she did not have enough water initially and when she returned from refilling the bottle, the snake had wrapped itself around Mr Wilkins and began choking him, the report said.

The snake was unharmed.