Should 2018 be renamed the ‘Year of the Snake’? In Part 1, we focussed on some of the spate of recent stories about snakes that have featured in the media. Here are some further examples:
When a resident in Queensland’s Glasshouse Mountains discovered a carpet python in her bathroom one Saturday night, she simply locked the door, blocked the gap under it with a towel, and calmly(?) waited until the next morning to call the local snake catcher.
Stuart McKenzie, of The Snake Catcher 24/7, opened the bathroom door to find….nothing! He searched the room from top to bottom, but there was no sign of the serpent.
“It’s a pretty open, clear bathroom,” he said. “There was no way he would have got out.”
Then he noticed that the middle drawer under the sink was ‘slightly open’. Turns out the python had managed to squeeze into this drawer, and had then dropped down to the closed drawer below, where it had made itself at home.
In mid-February, 7 News reported that the Sydney suburbs had been hit by a ‘plague’ of snakes, including potentially lethal Tiger Snakes, Eastern Brown Snakes, Red-bellied Black Snakes and death adders.
One North Shore resident found a snake in her bedroom; in Hornsby a death adder was found on a patio, and in Bondi, a python was found inside a domestic toilet!
Snake catcher Harley Jones said he had recently received 47 call outs in a single week.
Then in late-February, a family from Mount Ommaney, southwest of Brisbane, spotted a large, well-nourished carpet python on their property. They had not seen their pet cat for several days, and suspecting foul play, contacted snake catcher Lana Field. The three-metre python was taken to a local vet, where X-rays revealed that the snake had indeed recently been feeding upon a feline (it had consumed a cat). Unfortunately, scans confirmed that the microchip matched that of the family’s pet.
Finally (for this instalment!), following on from the 7 News report, on March 1st an article on news site now to love poses the question: ‘is Australia in the midst of a snake epidemic?’
Noting the large number of snakes in the news over the last few months, the author sought an explanation from Zac Bower at the Australian Reptile Park.
“Lack of rain has brought rodents into residential areas to chase water, therefore the snakes follow them for food and also water supply for themselves,” he said. “Camera phones could have more to do with it. Maybe there’s the same amount of snakes, just more ability to record them.”
The article then goes on to provide a roundup of some of the stranger snake stories of the summer. There was the baby brown snake that managed to find its way into a child’s lunchbox in Adelaide; the snake that was photographed tapping on the driver’s side window of a moving vehicle; the Red-bellied Black Snake that a student from Ipswich found in her school bag; and the snake that fell through a crack in the ceiling of a primary school in Geraldton.