Hot and hungry toilet snakes on the rise across Australian states

A snake expert has revealed a key tip for keeping snakes out of your toilet.

Snakes are increasingly being spotted inside toilets across Australia’s eastern states.

Close to a dozen photos uploaded to social media over the last fortnight show snakes inside toilet bowls, but also drains and swimming pools from Brisbane to the Pilbara. Wildlife rescuer Tennille Bankes believes the “wild weather” during Christmas and New Year is likely one of the reasons behind the phenomenon.

“The issue is the heat. They’re going wherever they can for the water,” she said.

Two images of the snake inside the toilet at Goondiwindi
Police stood guard until a snake could be removed from a toilet in Goondiwindi. Source: Supplied/Wildlife Empire

The search for food is another factor luring snakes into outdoor dunnies, particularly in Queensland where frogs tend to find their way into the bowl.

“The diet of the spotted black snake and red-bellied black snake is green tree frogs. And if people are leaving the toilet open, you’ll find the frogs in the toilet and the snakes will go in after them,” she said. “So a handy tip is put the lid down.”

Snake pulled out of Goondiwindi dunny

Just yesterday, Tenille was called to Goondiwindi near the NSW border to retrieve a black snake from inside a public toilet. You can watch the video below.

Her Wildlife Empire rescue service received a call from local police, accompanied by a photo showing the snake trapped inside the toilet under the lid. “The toilet seat was open when the member of the public went inside the cubicle, but in fright, she shut the lid,” she said.

“She then called the police, and they found it with its head and tail hanging out. The police then stood guard for hours, waiting for me to drive over to relocate the snake.”

While social media use is no doubt increasing the number of snakes photographed inside toilets, Tenille has also seen an increase in the number of requests for help she receives.

And it's not just this year that she's seeing this trend — While she used to get a call to retrieve a “toilet snake” every couple of years, she now gets one every five or six months. “The seasons now are incredibly crazy. We’ve got a lot of heat at the moment and flooding, so climate change is a real thing,” she said.

“Because of this the snakes are out of whack and they’re pretty much out and about all year round and don’t go into that brumation period,” she said.

What to do if you find a snake in your toilet

Another snake catcher on the Gold Coast told Yahoo his toilet snake callouts have been pretty consistent. Video uploaded to Facebook by Hudson Snake Catching in Burleigh Waters shows one of the company’s professional rescuers pulling a spotted python out of a toilet in November after it slithered up through the plumbing.

A man stands over the toilet at Burleigh Waters. Inside there is a snake.
A snake was removed from a toilet in Burleigh Waters by a professional in November. Source: Hudson Snake Catching

If you notice a snake in your toilet then the important thing is not to panic, because the snake is likely more frightened than you are. The safest thing to do is walk away and call a professional snake catcher to help relocate the animal.

“You can see in the video that the snake didn’t try to attack me. It just wanted to be left alone and was just trying to be as inconspicuous as it could,” she said. “They just want you to bugger off so they can hide.”

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