The warm, dry weather in south-east Queensland is forcing snakes into unusual places as they look for water.
Snake Catcher Noosa’s Luke Huntley had to rescue a carpet python from a shower in a Noosa home at the start of the Australia Day long weekend.
The incident came just three days after Canberra’s Helen Richards was bitten on the bottom by a python which had coiled up inside the toilet of a Brisbane home she was visiting.
Mr Huntley said snakes were desperately looking for water, and to escape the heat, as the south-east continued to wither in the hot, parched conditions.
“It is so dry at the moment, they are not only trying to get in out of the heat, they are looking for water,” he said.
“Snakes can die of heat exhaustion and many of the creeks have dried up. [In] human settlements we have lots of water and the snakes come looking.”
Mr Huntley said the Noosa home owners had left a sliding door on the opposite end of the home open for their “little dog”.
“The wife was about to have a shower in the morning when she saw the snake,” he said.
“They had left the toilet lid down, so it couldn’t get in there and the next place was the shower.”
‘Number one’ never so surprising
Ms Richards was not so lucky.
She said she had become the “butt of many jokes” as the “story about the snake and my bottom had gone around the world”.
Ms Richards did not notice what was coiled up in the toilet bowl when she sat down for a number one last Tuesday.
“It was in the afternoon, the toilet was a little bit dark and I didn’t bother to have a look,” she said.
“I was doing some ironing and went and sat down and felt this tap on my bottom and this sharp pain.
“It didn’t hurt very much. I jumped up and thought ‘what the heck was that?’
“I dispelled the frog theory. I turned around to see this … it did look like a long-neck turtle, receding back down into the toilet.”
She described it as “this great big thing with beady eyes looking up at me”.
“I had to contain it, so I closed the lid carefully and put a couple of pot plants on top,” she said.
Ms Richards called a snake catcher, deciding against trying to get it out herself.
“Have you ever tried to flush a turd that big down the s-bend,” she asked.
Always check the loo before sitting
The python was about 1.6 metres long and was, she said, “still a young python, about seven years old”.
Ms Richard, who had to have a tetanus shot “as a precaution”, said she felt a little sorry for the snake too.
“It did not appreciate that shower under the full moon, I can tell you,” she said.
Mr Huntley said stories like Ms Richards’ were very rare, although he had once rescued a red-belly black snake from a toilet bowl on the Sunshine Coast.
His advice was always to check before you went to the loo or a shower.
“Just as you don’t cross the road without looking, we live in Australia, you need to always check for snakes,” he said.
There’s a snake in my home. What do I do?
- Isolate it in the room by closing the door
- Lay a towel beneath the door so it can’t escape
- Call a local snake-catching service
- Don’t panic, but stay vigilant
- Keeping your house clutter-free will give the snake fewer places to hide
Source: Darwin Snake Catchers
Sunshine Coast veterinarian Dr Matt Rosen said there had been a “big surge” in snake sightings this season.
Dr Rosen has five pet pythons in his Peregian home on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
“Most snakes that are fed and have a good food source like to hide,” he said.
“There is probably limited water around so it’s a combination of snakes looking for food and water.
“And with the warm weather they are lot more active, which is why they are being seen everywhere.”
In the past two weeks, a snake has been found inside a coffee machine at a cafe on the NSW mid-north coast and in an air-conditioning unit inside a Darwin woman’s house, and have killed at least two family cats in south-east Queensland.
Topics: animals, reptiles, safety, weather, community-and-society, human-interest, offbeat, noosaville-4566, noosa-heads-4567, canberra-2600, crescent-head-2440, darwin-0800, peregian-beach-4573, brisbane-4000
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