A carpet python found in a Gold Coast pool with more than 500 ticks attached to its body was trying to drown them, a snake catcher says.
Tony Harrison from Gold Coast and Brisbane Snake Catcher was called out to retrieve the reptile from a property at Coolangatta on Thursday afternoon.
Mr Harrison live streamed the call out to his Facebook page, capturing the moment he first spotted the tick-riddled snake.
“Look at the ticks on him. Jesus Christ,” he exclaimed.
“What happens is in Mother Nature animals can live in harmony with parasites both internal and external. If something happens to them the parasites get the better of them.
“He’s got hundreds of paralysis ticks on him. That’s why he’s in the water, he’s trying to drown them.
“I’ve never seen anything like this. I’ve done this for 26 years and this is the worst I’ve ever seen.”
Mr Harrison said reptiles have a higher resilience to ticks.
The python, which has since been named Nike, was taken to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital for treatment.
It took vets hours to remove and count the 511 ticks.
It is unknown exactly what species of tick they were.
“There are still tiny young ones under the scales that will be treated with drugs to kill them,” Mr Harrison said.
Mr Harrison said he was hopeful the snake would make a full recovery.
On Friday morning a Currumbin Wildlife Hospital spokeswoman said the python was still in their care.
“We’re running tests, trying to find out what’s wrong with him,” the spokeswoman said.
Topics: animal-science, reptiles, animals, human-interest, coolangatta-4225, qld, southport-4215, brisbane-4000
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