A GOODNA Queensland Australia woman got a shock while hanging out her washing when she spotted a rare sight; a snake eating another snake.
The 1.8 metre Eastern Brown snake was making a meal out of a slightly smaller python at an Eric St home and the rarely seen spectacle drew a small crowd.
By the time snake catchers Sally and Norman Hill arrived, after being called by the woman who made the discovery, the python was clearly dead but it took the Eastern Brown hours to finish his meal.
The call for help had come in around noon on Monday but the team from N&S Snake Catcher Ipswich, also Goodna residents, had been out on another job and didn’t arrive until just after 1pm.
Even they were shocked.
“It’s very rare to see,” Sally said.
“We’ve never seen an Eastern Brown eating a carpet python before. We stood there watching for hours, it was fascinating.
“Even the snake’s temperament was very calm considering there were so many people standing around watching.”
It’s not unusual for an Eastern Brown to eat other snakes, but it’s not something that many people actually see happening.
Sally and Norman have been working with snakes for more than 25 years and started a snake catching business after Norman finished up working at Australia Zoo when Steve Irwin died.
Since 2015 they’ve been answering calls for help from Ipswich residents and although they’ve noticed a significant increase in the number of snakes around, they never expected yesterday’s call out to be so eventful.
“We were on another job so it took us about half an hour to 40 minutes to get there,” Sally said.
“We thought that by the time we got there he might have finished eating it but it did take a while.
“The venom would have killed the python straight away.”
Eventually the Hills made the decision to pick up the Eastern Brown, still with a mouthful of python, and put it in a bag to finish eating before releasing it later that night.
Norman said in the past 12 months there’s been a significant increase in the number of snakes seen around the Ipswich area.
“We’ve caught about double what we did last year,” Norman said.
“We’re assuming it’s related to all the development. Years ago I used to go and drop snakes off in the areas where they are building all the new homes.”
With snake sightings on the rise the snake catchers have warned that while it may look easy to approach a wild snake, doing so without the proper experience can be disastrous.
“If you do come across an eastern brown, call a snake catcher. Don’t try to catch it yourself,” Sally said.
“Snakes will be threatened because we are bigger; we are like monsters to them and make them feel threatened.
“If they feel threatened, they will attack and if you’re not quick, if you hesitate you will get bitten.”
Eastern Brown snakes are highly venomous, considered one of the world’s most dangerous snakes and are responsible for the majority of snakebite deaths in Australia.
A bite from an Eastern Brown will cause paralysis and blood clotting.