An Aussie snake catcher said pulling one of Australia’s deadliest snakes out from underneath a Ferrari will go down as one of the most “amazing” moments of his career.
“I probably have got about five or six snake calls I remember, and even though this wasn’t the biggest red belly ever I will remember getting a red-bellied black snake out of a red Ferrari California forever,” Luke Huntley, better known as Luke the Noosa Snake Catcher, told Yahoo News Australia.
According to Cars Guide, Ferrari California's sell for around $400,000 in Australia.
“I grew up in Noosa so I am used to seeing really nice sports cars around, but there's nothing more Noosa than a red belly in a Ferrari,” said Luke.
Luke, who’s been a snake catcher for eight years, explained he got the call out to the car owner’s property in Noosa Waters, Sunshine Coast, on Thursday, and was told the snake had gone up underneath the wheel well.
“I had no idea what I was walking into,” the 31-year-old said. “For me, it was a snake call, a snake had gone under a car in someone's garage and I was like, ‘Yeah, that's pretty standard on a hot day’. A lot of snakes on a really, really hot 32 degree day have to get out of the sun, and that's why it had come in.”
It wasn’t until Luke arrived that he realised it was a Ferrari. But then the challenge really began.
“I spent almost 45 minutes looking for it,” he said. “I couldn't find it in the car so we popped the bonnet.
“I get lots of snakes out of lots of different engines but I wasn’t going to be pulling too many covers off and doing stuff just because it was a really, really nice car. I didn’t want to damage anything.”
While Luke almost gave up all hope and moved on to searching the carport for the hidden reptile, it was then the snake catcher spotted something out of the corner of his eye.
“I just saw it, it was right next to the wheel,” he said. “It had come out of the engine bay and dropped onto the ground and I just grabbed it. We got very, very lucky that the snake did that."
Red-bellied black snake tiny but mighty
"I can’t believe how lucky I am to experience this," the snake catcher added on his social media. "I know it’s only a small red belly but I love snakes and I love cars."
While red bellies can grow to almost two metres in length, at just 76 centimetres this snake was “tiny”, but would have still packed a punch as one of the country’s most dangerous snakes.
“They’re definitely a highly venomous snake,” Luke explained. “You know, you leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone, but obviously this one was inside the car, so definitely not the spot for it.”
After a few photos with the snake — and the Ferrari of course — Luke took his new friend out into nearby bushland.
“It was actually really funny,” he said. “I went to let him go in one direction and he just turned around, came back around and did a little circle around me and then went the other direction. It was like he was doing a victory lap, saying thanks and that he had a good time. It was awesome.”
For anyone who spots a snake where it shouldn’t be, Luke said the first thing to do is not to panic.
“Remove any kids or pets out of the way, put them at a safe distance, lock them inside or whatever, and then keep an eye on the snake, and either just let it cruise on itself or if you’d like it removed give your local snake catcher a call.”
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