A Queensland woman was confused after a headless snake turned up in her yard, a couple of weeks after her hubby tried to catch a baby snake on their property.
The perplexed woman shared the photos to a community Facebook group, asking for advice on what kind of snake it was.
She explained when her hubby tried to catch the baby snake in the garden a few weeks before, it vanished into the bushes.
“This turned up today on our pavers and looks like the head was bitten off/chewed?” She said.
The decapitated snake appears to be quite small judging by the photos she shared. People in the comments suggested all kinds of theories as to how the snake lost its head and what type of snake it could possibly be.
One person asked if the woman had animals, which the woman does not, however she did ponder whether the neighbour’s dog could have bitten off the head of the snake or if a bird had snagged the head and dropped the remains in the yard.
Someone suggested a kookaburra may have been the culprit.
A kookaburra could be quite likely as they are “almost exclusively carnivorous”, according to Nature Australia, adding they eat mice, yabbies, insects, the young of other birds and small reptiles, including snakes.
Nature Australia said kookaburras were introduced into southwest Western Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand, perhaps due to their reputation for preying on snakes.
Stuart McKenzie, from Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers, told Yahoo News Australia he definitely thought the snake was a carpet python and a juvenile by the looks of it in the photo.
Mr McKenzie said due to the size of the snake, it could be a kookaburra who snapped up the snake and and decapitated it.
“They often will grab them by the head and smack them against a tree and that’s how they try and kill them and eat them,” he said.
“It is a bit strange, if it was a bird, that it left the body because that’s where all the meat is that it would be after.”
Mr McKenzie could only speculate, he said it could also be a dog, as the woman who shared the post speculated.
“Often the dogs will go for the head as well,” he said.
“It could have been a dog that grabbed it by the head and shook it.”
He also said it is entirely possible it was a human’s doing.
Mr McKenzie said finding snake’s bodies like this isn’t exactly common.
“People do from time-to-time send us a message with a picture of a dead snake they just found randomly.
Venom can stay active after snake dies
Mr McKenzie did warn that a snake’s venom potentially stays active for a several minutes after a snake dies and he has heard of instances where a snake’s head has been removed and the head was still ‘alive’ for a little while after.
Last year a man from the United States was bitten by a rattle snake moments after he had decapitated it with a shovel.
The man spotted the snake when he and his wife were gardening, and after he severed the head he bent down to dispose of the snake and the snake’s head bit him, according to local station KIII News.
Following the attack, CBS News reported because snakes have a slower metabolism than humans, their internal organs can stay alive for longer and when faced with death will become aggressive.
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