Gardener reveals 'scary' mistake while mowing overgrown grass: 'So lucky'

The man was stunned after he had a near-miss with a native animal.

An Aussie gardener’s video of the moment he nearly hits a blue-tongue lizard while trimming tall grass has sparked a warning from wildlife experts.

Sydney-based Tim the Lawnmower Man posted online on Monday about nearly hitting the reptile while working on an overgrown vacant lot with a whipper snipper.

“What wildlife is in overgrown lawns?” he asks, adding “This dude is so lucky. I just literally trimmed over the top of him, saw him and he scared the absolute bejesus out of me. He's going to live to see another day. Let's find somewhere safe for him.”

The man holding the blue-tongued lizard and the long grass where he was mowing and it the wildlife was found. Tim the Lawnmower Man looking to camera.
The incident is a wildlife warning to other Aussies who are looking to trim overgrown grass this spring. Source: TikTok

The man then moves the native reptile to a safe spot away from the overgrown grass. The video, which has amassed over 5,000 views in just a couple of hours, is a warning to other Aussies who are looking to trim their lawns this spring.

Wildlife 'moved to somewhere safer'

Sam Chatfield from Wildlife Arc on the state's Central Coast told Yahoo News Australia it was "lovely" to see the gardener act with such care towards the blue blue-tongue lizard.

"He picked it up and then moved it somewhere into a safer area so it's good to see compassion for our native wildlife," she said.

The species manager for reptiles and amphibians explained that it's sadly all too common to see injuries among Australian birds, mammals as well as reptiles.

"We do sometimes see mammals like possums that have been injured by whipper snippers or hedge cutters," she said. "But we do get quite a few reptiles because they're more likely to rely upon behavioural modification, and their colouration to try and hide rather than fleeing the area. They're likely to remain still and that's why they get hit."

How to protect wildlife before mowing

Sam said it's important to check your grass or hedges before carrying out any works, adding that "making yourself known" will help warn wildlife that they are about to be disrupted.

"These animals didn't want to interact with us at all," she explained. "We're big, we're scary and we're predators so they want the opportunity to actually flee. So if we give them that advance notice before we start cutting anything or mowing anything, they will leave most of the time."

Her tips include:

  • Make noise to encourage wildlife to move out of long grass or hedges.

  • Wear boots and gloves — "you don't ever want to reach in somewhere with bare hands".

How to help an injured animal

If an animal is injured by a mower, Sam says it's important to get help as soon as possible. "Accidents happen, that's fine," she added. "The next important thing to do is to get help for the animal."

Sam recommends using IFAW, a free wildlife rescue app.

"It will tell you who your local wildlife rescue organisation is based on where you are at the time," she said. "Otherwise you can Google through your local group."

Love Australia's weird and wonderful environment? Get our new weekly newsletter showcasing the week’s best stories.

Banner reads 'What on Earth' with 'Subscribe to our new weekly newsletter' and a collage of images of australian natural wildlife.
Click here to sign up to our newsletter.