A neighbour poked his head over Whiterock resident Rini Steenwinkel’s fence, telling her and husband Platon Zapantis to he had found a five-metre reptile metres from their yard.
The well-fed serpent’s length and wallaby-fed girth caught the expert from Cairns Snake Removals expert by surprise upon his arrival.
5m Amethystine python eats fully grown Wallaby. Snake and Wallaby weighing in at around 40 kg. Quite a handful for 2 of us to pickup. This snake was too large to bag. We decided it would be best to try & carry the snake out of the open yard and take him down to a nearby creek.
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“The snake catcher didn’t believe me when I described how big it was, but he turned up and said, ‘Holy crap’,” Ms Steenwinkel said.
“He rang up his friend because and they ended up having to put it in the boot of his car because it was so big.
“He said it would have been very capable of swallowing a six-year-old child.
“They were so impressed, they did it for free.”
The grassed area where it was found is popular with children, including Ms Steenwinkel’s neighbours who use it to ride their motorbikes.
The whopping python was resettled into a nearby creek.
We all know the saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover?’
Turns out it applies in identifying snakes.
Snake catcher Max Jackson is warning people not to make assumptions on a snake’s species based on the colour of its skin.
It comes after a picture of a blue and yellow snake (pictured above), discovered at a dam on a property between Maryborough and Hervey Bay Qld Australia, was sent to the Sunshine Coast wrangler for identification.
The landowner thought it might have been a tree snake but Mr Jackson said it was in fact a red-bellied black snake.
He told the newspaper that colours could be deceptive and it was more important to pay attention to the shape of the snake’s body and scales.
He said the colour of the red-bellied black snake could range from bright red to a creamy colour or pink underbelly.
The colour could also change when the snake was shedding its skin.
Mr Jackson said he had also seen a dangerous brown snake that was jet black and could easily have been mistaken for another species.
With many snakes still around because of the warm weather, Mr Jackson said it was best to assume a snake was of the poisonous variety and to just avoid them.
The Caspian cobra is found in central Asia. This snake is known for being very aggressive and bad-tempered. They tend to avoid humans, but will become aggressive towards them if they feel threatened. When feeling threatened it will spread its hood, hiss, and sway side-to-side, then finally strike its target multiple times. Once bitten a person may experience drowsiness, weakness, paralysis of the limbs. If untreated, the bite can result in death from respiratory failure
The Monocled Cobra is widespread across south and southeast Asia. The monocled cobra was given its name due to its O-shaped, or monocellate hood pattern. These cobras prefer habitats with water such as paddy fields or swamps. However, they can adapt easily and can also be found in grasslands and forests. This cobra causes the most fatalities from snake venom poisoning in Thailand. In severe cases of envenomation death can occur within 60 minutes.
The Jameson’s Green Mamba is very similar to its counterparts, the Eastern and Western Green Mamba. The Jameson’s Green Mamba can grow up to 8 feet and 8 inches (2.64 meters) long, with a dull green color across the back that blends into a pale green. It’s scales are normally edged with black. They inhabit parts of Africa and prefer landscapes such as primary and secondary rainforests, woodland, and forest-savanna. However, they are highly adaptable and can be found many times in urban areas. Their venom is highly neurotoxic and death can occur between 30-120 minutes.
The Rhinoceros viper is very similar to the Gaboon Viper, but has a less dangerous bite. They are slow moving, but are capable of striking quickly and it all directions, without warning. If they feel threatened, they will hiss. Its hiss is said to be the loudest out of all the African snakes, and it sounds more like a shriek. Their venom contains a neurotoxin and hemotoxin which attacks the circulatory system of its victims.
The Chinese Cobra is one of the most venomous members of the cobra family. It is mainly found in mainland China and Taiwan, and has caused the most snakebites in those areas. The Chinese Cobra is always aware of its surroundings and is seldom cornered. However, if it feels threatened it will raise its forebody and spread its hood, ready to strike. Local symptoms of a bite include pain, insensibility and necrosis. Necrosis, even after treatment, may persist for many years within the victim.
If untreated, a Coastal Taipan bite is 100% fatal. You do not need to worry, unless you are in the northern and eastern regions of Australia or in New Guinea. Coastal Taipans are the longest venomous snake in Australia and can grow up to 6.6 feet (2 meters) long. The Coastal Taipan’s venom consists of a highly potent neurotoxin that affects the nervous system and the blood’s ability to clot. Death can occur in as little as 30 minutes after a bite.
The red-bellied black snake is found in parts of eastern Australia. It inhabits woodlands, forests and swamplands. It is also common to find them in urban areas. The snake is glossy black on the dorsal surface and red, crimson or pink in color on the lower sides and belly. This snake is normally not aggressive. However, if it feels threatened, it will recoil into a striking stance. Bites from these snakes are not normally fatal, but you should still seek medical attention.
The Mali cobra is a species of venomous spitting cobra that is found in Western Africa. The cobra ranges from Senegal to Cameroon, with reports to also be found from Gambia, Burkina Faso, southern Mali, and a few other countries. It inhabits both tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands. Its venom contains postsynaptic neurotoxins, cardiotoxins, and cytotoxic activity. The Mali cobra is responsible for the most snake bites in Senegal.
Sea Snake’s venom is more toxic than its land-dwelling counterparts. However, sea snakes will only attack when provoked. However, the danger of a sea snake should not be underestimated. Most people that have been bitten work on trawlers, in the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific, as snakes are sometimes hauled in with the catch. Only a small proportion of bites have been fatal. Symptoms, such as muscles aches, spasms will most likely occur 30 minutes after the bite. If not treated one can suffer from more severe symptoms such as blurred vision and respiratory paralysis.
The Egyptian Cobra is one of the largest cobra species in Africa. It has many similar physical traits to other cobras, like a hood. However, what makes it distinct is its coloring and often a tear-drop mark near the eye. This cobra has very large fangs which allows it to deliver large quantities of venom. A bite should be considered a medical emergency as its venom affects the nervous system which eventually leads to respiratory failure
The King Brown Snake is the second longest species of venomous snakes in Australia. They can grow up to 9.8 feet (3 meters) long. Their venom is relatively weak compared to other species. However, what they lack in quality, they make up for in quantity. These snakes will deliver large amounts of venom when they bite. The average snakes deliver 180 milligrams during a bite. The king brown delivers close to 600 milligrams. The untreated mortality rate is 30-40%.
The dugite is a venomous snake found in western Australia. Dugites are normally shy and will slither away upon seen a human. However, like many other snakes will attack if they feel cornered. Dugites are considered highly dangerous due to their very potent venom that causes both coagulopathic and procoagulant effects. Although they rarely bite humans, when they do, it is normally during when they are most active in their mating season (October and November)
The Gaboon viper lives in the rainforests and savannas of sub-Saharan Africa. It is the worlds heaviest viperid and has the longest fangs of 5 centimeters (2 inches). It is normally slow moving and placid, and they are known for lying in wait for hours for their prey to pass by. Due to their docile nature, bites normally only occur when they are stepped on. However, it should be considered a medical emergency when a bite does occur.
Keep your distance from this snake, as the black-necked spitting cobra can eject venom from its fangs over 7 meters (23 feet) with perfect accuracy. They are mainly found in just sub-Saharan Africa and can grow up to 2.2 meters (7.2 feet) long. Bites can lead to blisters, inflammation and permanent blindness if venom makes contact with the eyes.
The Sharp-nosed pit viper is found in southeast Asia. Its highly potent venom contains hemotoxin that is very likely to lead to hemorrhaging. Its nickname is the “hundred pacer.” It has been believed that victims will only be able to walk 100 steps before dying. However, there is an antivenin made in Taiwan. Symptoms from a bite include swelling, blistering, necrosis, and ulceration
The Cape Cobra is considered one of the most dangerous snakes in Africa due to its highly potent venom and its common occurrences around houses. The mortality rate for bites from a cape cobra are unknown, but are believed to be high. If a victim does not receive the antivenin it is likely he or she will die from respiratory failure.
The longest snakes in the western hemisphere are the South American Bushmasters. In addition, they are the longest pit-viper in the world. They inhabit parts of South America and tend to dwell in equatorial forests. The primarily feed on mice and rats, but will attack when provoked. Unfortunately, not much is known about their venom as they are highly susceptible from stress. Therefore, they die quickly when in captivity.
The jararaca is a species of pit-viper found in souther Brazil, Paraguay, and northern Argentina. The snake prefers to live in open areas, such as farmland. Its venom is considered very toxic and causes symptoms such as bruising and blistering of the affected limb and spontaneous systemic bleeding of the gums and into the skin. However, one good thing was derived from the venom, the ACE inhibitor, which is used to treat hypertension and some types of congestive heart failure.
The forest cobra is native to Africa, mainly dwelling in the central and western parts of the continent. Its preferred habitat in the lowland forest and moist savannah. However, it can be found in drier climates and is a very good swimmer. Although bites to humans are rare, they are very dangerous when they occur. This snake injects a large amount of venom into its victims. Death can occur 30-120 minutes after being bitten.
The western green mamba, as you would suspect, resides in west Africa. However, bites to people from this snake are very uncommon. However, when people are bitten the mortality rate is extremely high. Once bitten there is a rapid progression of life-threatening symptoms including suffocation resulting from paralysis of the respiratory muscles. Death has been also been reported to occur within 30 minutes of the bite.
The eastern green mamba resides in East Africa and is normally found dwelling in trees. This highly venomous snake can grown up to 2 meters (6.6 feet) in length. This species has bitten many humans, many of which have resulted in fatalities. There was one case where someone died in as little as 30 minutes after the bite. Other symptoms of the venom include difficulty breathing, convulsions and nausea.
The common death adder is native to Australia. Not only is it one of the most venomous snakes in Australia, but also the whole world. The death adder is a master of camouflage and likes to hide beneath loose leaves in woodlands and grasslands. Its venom contains a very potent neurotoxin which can lead to death within 6 hours after the bite.
The Malayan krait inhabits Thailand and much of Southeast Asia. They tend to shy away from the sun and are very active at night. Their venom is highly poisonous and death can result as soon as 12-24 hours after bite. Sadly, even after treatment, 50% of its victims will succumb to effects of the poison, dying usually from respiration failure.
Also known as the Taiwanese or Chinese Krait, the many-banded krait is a highly venomous snake found in southern China and Southeast Asia. In the daytime, this snakes hides in places such as holes and under rocks. However, at night, it hunts and becomes more aggressive. Symptoms will not appear promptly after bite, but may show hours later. If untreated, death is likely 70-100% of the time.
The terciopelo viper is one of the most dangerous snakes in the neotropical rainforest in Central America. They can grow up to 2.5 meters (8 feet) long and have heads that are 10 centimeters (4 inches) wide. They are responsible for the majority of snakebites in Central America. Their venom contains hemotoxins and if not treated with an antivenin can lead to death.
A member of the “big four” species in India, the common krait, is also known as the blue krait. The common krait feeds on other snakes and small mammals. Although reluctant to bite people, if it does, it will clasp and hold for awhile in order to inject a large amount of venom. The venom consists of mostly powerful neurotoxins leading to muscle paralysis.
Russell’s viper is found in the Indian subcontinent and southeast Asia. Like the Indian Cobra it is considered on of the “big four” species. Russell’s viper can grow up to 166 centimeters (5.5 feet) in length. The snake is often times found in high urbanized areas due to the attraction of rodents. Therefore, those working in fields outside of cities are at a high risk of being bitten.
Made popular by snake charmers, the Indian cobra is found all over the Indian subcontinent. It is a member of the “big four” species, the 4 species that inflict the most snakebites on humans in India. However, as it’s admired in Indian culture, it is protected under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act. Its venom mainly consists of neuro and cardiotoxins. This means a bite can lead to paralysis of the muscles or even cardiac arrest. Symptoms can show anywhere between 15 minutes to 2 hours after the bite.
The puff adder is found in African savannah and grasslands, and is the most commonly found snake on the continent. Due to its commonality, it is responsible for causing the most snakebite fatalities in Africa. If they feel threatened or disturbed, they will adopt a tight coiled posture and the fore part of their body will form an “S” shape. They are very aggressive and strike very fast.
If you see a Philippine Cobra, you better run away. These cobras are highly venomous and are capable of accurately spitting their venom at a target up to 3 meters (9.8 feet) away. The Philippine cobra is normally found in forested areas, along open fields. They are also fond of water, and therefore, can be found many times close to ponds and rivers. Small rodents are the preferred prey of their choice
The western diamondback rattlesnake inhabits the southwestern area of the United States. It has been reported that it is most likely responsible for the majority of snakebite fatalities in northern Mexico and the largest number of snakebites in the U.S. The western diamondback rattlesnake has very large venom glands and special fangs so it can deliver a large amount of venom to its victims. However, as it normally preys on small mammals, it will only bite a human if provoked.
According to National Geographic “The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is the largest venomous snake in North America. Some reach 8 feet (2.4 meters) in length and weigh up to 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms).” Despite what people think the eastern diamondback rattlesnake will not attack humans unless it feels threatened. Bites normally happen when a person is taunting or trying to capture the snake. The last warning before a bite is when the snake violently shakes its tail. Bites can result in red blood cells deterioration, tissue damage, and if left untreated, death.
The common lacehead, also known as the bothrops atrox, inhabits the tropical lowlands of nothern South America. The species of pit-viper is easily agitated and is generally nocturnal. However, when necessary it may forage through the day, climbing trees and even swimming. It is often times found in coffee and banana plantations searching for rodents. Therefore, due to their camouflage, workers do not see the snakes and are often bitten. The venom is very lethal and fast acting. Even when received treatment, almost all cases lead to temporary of sometimes permanent memory loss.
The eastern brown snake is mainly found along the east coast of Australia. The snake is considered to be the second-most venomous terrestrial snake. Its venom has both neurotoxins and blood coagulants. A bite from the eastern brown snake can cause dizziness, renal failure, paralysis and cardiac arrest. Although it normally only eats rodents, like mice, if it feels threatened, it will bite a human. It is responsible for 60% of snake bite deaths in Australia.
The Inland Taipan is the most venomous of all the snakes in the world. What also separates this snakes from many others is its prey. The snake is an expert in hunting mammals, therefore, its venom is adapted to kill warm-blooded species. It normally does not strike unless provoked. Its venom contains neurotoxins which affect the nervous system, hemotoxins which affect the blood, and myotoxins which affect the the muscles. If untreated the venom can be lethal.
Tiger Snakes are found in the southern regions of Australia and some of its coastal islands. It gets in name from its color, as it is often banded like a tiger. A tiger snake’s venom contains many potent toxins. Once bitten a person will experience, at first, localized pain followed by breathing difficulties and finally paralysis. Studies show that untreated bites have a mortality rate of 40-60%.
The sub-Saharan African Boomslang, may look cool. However, do not touch! The average adult boomslang is 100–160 cm (3¼–5¼ feet) in length, with extremely large eyes. The boomslang has a highly potent venom that it can deliver through fangs at the back of its jaw. The snake is able to open its jaws 170° when biting. The venom is mainly made of a hemotoxin which disables the coagulation process in a person’s body. Signs and symptoms of a bite may not show until hours after.
The Black Mamba is found in the savannas and rocky areas in southern and eastern Africa. It can grow up to 14 feet long and can slither up to 12.5 mph, making it the fastest snake in all the planet. Although it only attacks when it is provoked, when it does attack beware. The Black Mamba will bite several times, delivering enough toxins to kill 10 people. There is a antivenin but it must be received within 20 minutes.
The Saw-Scaled Viper kills more people than any other snake each year. Although it only grows to 1-3 feet long, its venomous bite can do lots of damage. Their venom contains hemotoxins and cytotoxins, which leads to multiple bleeding disorders including the possibility of an intracranial hemorrhage. Many of these snakes are found in areas where modern medicine is not found. Therefore, victims sometimes suffer a long, painful death.
The King Cobra is the world’s longest venomous snake. It is predominantly found in India and other parts of Southeast Asia. The King Cobra’s venom’s toxins attack the victim’s central nervous system resulting in pain, vertigo and eventually paralysis. It has been reported that death can occur as short as 30 minutes without the antivenin. The toxin is so deadly, it could even kill a large elephant.
This population of tiger snakes looks to be having a rough time of it.
Many have head injuries and one in 10 are totally blind, but this does not seem to get in the way of them finding a good meal.
The snakes live near a colony of silver gulls that breeds throughout the year so their chicks provide the snakes with a constant supply of fresh meat.
But the gulls are valiant defenders of their chicks. Their stabbing beaks are powerful and strong and they always go straight for the snake’s head.
Even with the loss of sight, these hungry snakes are still able to pick off a tasty chick or two thanks to their impressive forked tongues which they use to follow smells.
Watch the moment Sir David Attenborough and BBC filmmakers captured these impressive hunters for the series Life In Cold Blood.
At Cebu City Zoo in the Philippines, they’re trying to make the zoo more “interactive” — you can now get a massage from four 20ft Burmese pythons. The massage consists of simply putting the pythons — totally 250 kilograms (550 pounds) — on top of you and letting them sliver all over your body.
In case you were wondering, yes, a Burmese python is totally capable of killing you through constriction, and can deliver a pretty mean bite as well. But the zoo feeds each of the pythons “ten or more chickens” prior to each massage in order “to curb any hunger pangs.”
I should note that, according to Wikipedia, “Burmese pythons are opportunistic feeders…they will eat almost any time food is offered.” On the plus side, the massage is free.
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.
The strength of two male carpet pythons was on display as they hung from the roof of a south-east Queensland home last week, battling it out for the affections of a nearby female.
Footage of the males intertwined was sent through to Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7, who posted it to their Facebook page on Sunday night.
Snake catcher Max Jackson said it was an amazing display of strength that indicated the start of breeding season.
“Most snakes, particularly pythons, begin to move around a bit more to search for females at the start of breeding season,” he said.
The two pythons were wrapped around themselves while hanging from their tails. Photo: Becky Beale/Facebook
“When two males cross paths during this time, it is common for them to have combat, it is pretty gentle, just wrestling, it is a simple matter of overpowering the other one.
“This is a particularly impressive one, they are using so much stretch using their tails to hang there.
“There is a chance there might be a female in that roof, they must be able to smell a female around there somewhere.”
Mr Jackson said it was easy to tell the pythons, who he estimated weighed about 15 kilograms each, were males fighting because of how much they were moving around.
“You can tell they are two males – when they mate they don’t twist away like they are,” he said.
“When two snakes mate, they can crawl up each other,
“They can stay still for up to two days, it is a pretty minimal movement for that period of time.
“There is lots of effort going into this, they generally only last about 10 minutes and mating is quite a lot longer than that.”
Mr Jackson said he had never seen footage like it before.
“Generally they fight on the ground, but I guess maybe they started on the roof and started falling off,” he said.
“Breeding season has definitely begun now, so this male-to-male combat may be a common sight throughout the coast over the next couple of months.”
This snake is a freak. It boasts the largest venom glands in the world. It eats king cobras for breakfast. And it has a scorpion’s sting. But that’s not what has scientists excited.
“We have found the wildest snake toxin ever, from the venom of the most outrageous snakes,” Bryan Fry said. “It does something no other snake has ever done.”
The super-powerful venom of the long-glanded blue coral snake could inspire new pain treatments for humans. Photo: Tom Charlton
The Queensland University venomologist is talking about the aptly named long-glanded blue coral snake of south-east Asia – and its unusual venom which takes hold with lightning efficiency.
A reptile with electric blue stripes and neon-red head and tail, it grows up to two metres long. Its venom glands extend to a good 60 centimetres – about one-quarter of its body length.
“On the scale of weird, this one goes to 11,” Dr Fry said. “It’s a freaky snake.”
Described as “the killer of killers” due to its taste for young king cobras, this snake is unique among snakes because, like scorpions, its venom causes its prey to spasm.
A young king cobra is no match for the long-glanded blue coral snake.
Exactly how it does this has been discovered for the first time. The results, published in the journal Toxins, could lead to improved pain management for humans.
“This venom hits a particular type of sodium channel that is important for the treatment of pain in humans,” Dr Fry said.
Dr Bryan Fry holds a king cobra. Young king cobras are often prey to the blue coral snake
With colleagues from Australia, China, Singapore and the US, Dr Fry identified six unusual peptides in the venom of the blue coral snake that can switch on all of its prey’s nerves at once. This immediately immobilises its victim.
So what does a paralysis-inducing venom have to do with improving the treatment and management of pain in humans?
Dr Fry said the research showed that the venom used receptors which were critical to pain in humans. Learning about how these worked could enable improved pain treatment and management.
“It’s also the first vertebrate to do this via sodium channels,” Dr Fry said. “So from a drug development perspective, this is interesting as this animal is evolutionarily-speaking closer to us than a scorpion. Which means it might be more amenable to us.”
While the length of the long-glanded blue coral snake’s venom glands was known, the way the venom worked hadn’t been studied. And given there are related species, there could be as many as 200 variations of the peptides in total.
“It’s a great example of why studying the really weird animals is a great path for biodiscovery and you can’t get any weirder than this snake with the longest venom glands in the world,” Dr Fry said.
“You can’t predict where the next wonder drug came from so you need to protect what you have.”
A PYTHON won’t need a feed for a while after eating a kangaroo north of Bundaberg Queensland Australia this week.
Deepwater woman Sherril-lea Wallace said she knew something was amiss when her dog started going off and her horses were staring in the direction of the commotion about 10am on Wednesday.
“Hubby and I went to investigate and found a mother roo giving her distress call and calling for her baby,” she said.
Disturbed by the couple, the mother roo fled, which is when they saw the snake wrapped around the joey, already dead.