Family stunned by metres-long snake 'doing parkour' in Aussie street

The shocked family could only watch on in horror from a distance as the huge reptile slithered along their roof.

While there's been no shortage of snake sightings recently, particular in Queensland's north, some encounters leave a longer impression than the rest.

One stunned family were in a state of shock after a monstrous, metres-long carpet python was spotted "doing parkour" in their very own Queensland backyard, gliding briskly through the treetops, well above the ground.

In the video, the family are seen standing back to witness the hefty animal make its way from their rooftop, to a tree, before slithering again into another. The snake rears its head from the leaves in between movements, giving a glimpse at just how large the animal is.

A five-metre snake seen moving from the roof of a Queensland house into a tree. Source: TikTok.
The snake moves from the family's roof, to a tree, then slithers right onto another tree. Source: TikTok.

"They're freaky aren't they," a woman says as the serpent wraps its body around the trunk. As the snake peers out from the bushes, facing the camera, a young child is heard breaking down in tears.

"How will we get him away?" the child asks, before a woman responds: "We wont."

Though the footage from an unknown Queensland location may seem like the stuff of nightmares for some, experts say the species poses very little risk to humans, and without any venom, most of the time carpet pythons can be left to tend to their own business without needing to be removed.

How a carpet python can move between trees

As for how the animal — which when fully grown can weigh up to 15 kilograms — moves through the trees so effortlessly, it all comes down to their "perfectly distributed muscles", which have evolved over millions of years to allow them breeze through structures with ease.

Snake Catcher Dan from the Sunshine Coast, who regularly encounters the reptiles, said it's common to see snakes move in such a way. When spotted in trees, it may mean they're hunting a bird or possum, or trying to avoid being hunted themselves.

Three pictures showing a carpet python moving from a roof and gripping onto a tree. Source: Snake Catcher Dan.
Pictures of another carpet python show it climbing a tree by tensing its muscles to grip tiny projections of bark. Source: Snake Catcher Dan.

"Their muscles, distributed properly, holds them up," he told Yahoo News Australia. "They reach out for a strong point, then they use muscle and weight to hold to themselves up before stretching out to the next spot.

"It's quite common to see carpet pythons in trees, either soaking up the sun, avoiding dogs or people or hunting birds and possums. I find more pythons on the ground hunting than I do in the trees, but it's not uncommon.

"A scared snake will also climb whatever is nearby if they don't have a good hiding hole on the ground."

Sharing footage of his own encounter exclusively to Yahoo, Dan said his vision sheds a little more light on how the animals manage to easily pull themselves along.

Not venomous but python can cause damage

Snakes typically climb trees by tensing their belly muscles to grip tiny projections of bark and then slithering straight up or by a hold-and-release movement.

"In the tree, it gives you a good idea of how they climb, pull to a spot, crop around it, then stretch to the next spot to lock themselves in," he said. "Any snake big or small is not dangerous to people if we leave them alone. In saying that, unfortunately sometimes people don’t notice the snake and get too close causing the snake to strike out in defence.

"Carpet pythons have 80 to 100 small teeth so a large one can absolutely cause damage if it gets a hold of you. A large majority of people who are bitten are either trying to kill or catch the animal themselves."

The seasoned wildlife expert said that although carpet pythons are rarely dangerous to humans, with no shortage of them around it's certainly "a busy time of year to be a snake catcher".

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