New twist in story of carpet python riddled with ticks

The carpet python retrieved from a Gold Coast property last week covered in hundreds of ticks is now anaemic and being nursed back to health.

The reptile, known as Nike, had 511 ticks pulled off it last Thursday but the parasites left him “very unwell with anaemia”, according to the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital where the snake was initially treated.

The wildlife hospital, which relies on community donations, said the snake was “saved from a certain death” when Tony and Brooke Harrison from Gold Coast and Brisbane Snake Catcher discovered the reptile at Coolangatta and took him to the facility.

“He is very anaemic and that’s because ticks have sucked all the blood out of him,” Senior Veterinarian at the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, Dr Michael Pyne, told Yahoo7.

Dr Pyne added that it could take many months for Nike to make a full recovery.

“He’s doing quite well. He has eaten something today which is a really positive thing,” Dr Pyne said.

When the Tony and Brooke Harrison were called to the Coolangatta home, the reptile had been in the pool. Source: Gold Coast and Brisbane Snake Catcher/ Facebook
When the Tony and Brooke Harrison were called to the Coolangatta home, the reptile had been in the pool. Source: Gold Coast and Brisbane Snake Catcher/ Facebook

Nike had been in a pool when the snake catchers attended the call out and it was thought he had been trying to drown the parasites.

“Generally when they get the ticks, snakes are meant to rub them off but for whatever reason with Nike that didn’t happen,” Dr Pyne said.

“And once they get weak they don’t have the strength to rub them off.”

Nike had more than 500 ticks pulled off its body last week. Source:Gold Coast and Brisbane Snake Catcher/ Facebook
Nike had more than 500 ticks pulled off its body last week. Source:Gold Coast and Brisbane Snake Catcher/ Facebook

The animal hospital wrote online that Nike was not out of the woods yet, but it is hoped his condition continues to improve so he can be released back into the wild in the coming months.