Breakfast will never be the same again after a Queensland man discovered a hidden danger in the cutlery drawer, sending him “flying” outside and his wife begging the internet for answers.
“Can someone please tell me what this is curled up in my cutlery drawer,” she wrote online from Craignish, near Hervey Bay in the state’s south. “I’m shaking. Got such a fright.”
In a series of images, a huge snake can be seen tucked up in the back of the drawer, next to a large knife.
“We are housesitting and my husband was making breakfast,” the woman explained on Facebook, adding that it was their first morning in the home. “I was outside and he came flying out the door yelling. I thought he must have had the place on fire or something.
“I’m fine with snakes outside. [I] can just walk away, but [I’m] a little terrified if they are in the drawers.”
After putting the call out for the best way to remove it, the woman confirmed that she had a snake catcher on their way. “In the meantime, I’m not taking my eyes off it,” she said. “It is a beautiful snake but we have no experience handling them.”
Don’t touch snakes
According to Mitch Thornburn, a snake catcher from South East Reptile Relocations, the snake is a coastal carpet python, and while they’re non-venomous, a strike would pack a punch.
“They’ve got nearly 100 teeth and a bite doesn’t tickle,” Thornburn told Yahoo News. “There is also obviously the risk of infection to some people if they’ve got a compromised immune system.”
But regardless of whether snakes are venomous or not, Thornburn urged people not to touch them because not only could it be dangerous, but it can make a snake catcher’s job even harder. “If the snake is inside the home, the best thing people could possibly do is not interfere with the snake and call a snake catcher,” he said.
"Because a lot of the time when people interfere trying to get the snake out themselves, they end up scaring the snake somewhere which is even more difficult for even a professional to access.
“They are better off just leaving the snake be and calling one of us and we can come and get the snake. But we really do need them to keep an eye on it because if they walk away for any period of time, our chances of finding that snake are gonna go down quite drastically.”
‘Bizarre’ place for a python to show up
As for why the snake curled up in the cutlery drawer, Thornburn said it’s not too surprising to find a coastal carpet python, which can grow up to four metres long, inside the home. “They’re a pretty common snake to have hanging around suburbia because they love hanging out in people's ceilings and stuff,” he said.
“Pythons love structure. They’re a snake which doesn't like living somewhere which is just open and flat. They love places with heaps of trees or buildings and stuff that they can climb in and places which provide them with lots of refuge.”
On top of that, you’ve also got Queensland’s wet weather which has been sending snakes indoors. “I think in areas that have been affected by floods, snakes have been drawn into some houses mainly because they’ve been looking for higher ground and that's typically where the houses seem to be.”
But as for the discovery in the cutlery drawer, Thornburn said it’s a “bizarre place” for the snake to show up. “I’m not really sure why he would have chosen that particular spot but I guess it would be kind of favourable in a way because it would be a bit of a dark and tucked away spot, which is ideally what the pythons are going to be looking for.”
How to keep snakes out of your home
If you're wanting to keep snakes out of your home, it's a matter of keeping doors shut, according to Thornburn. “90 per cent of the snakes that I get from inside people’s houses have come inside through doors which have been left open for children or pets,” the snake catcher said.
“We did have a little bit of an increase in snakes going inside people's houses around Christmas time when a lot of people lost power due to the storm and were leaving their doors open for fresh air because they didn’t have fans and air con.
“So the best thing people can do is just keep their doors closed at all times.”
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