WARNING - DISTRESSING CONTENT: A Canberra snake catcher has railed against an “abhorrent act” over the weekend at a Bunnings Warehouse carpark which left a snake decapitated.
Dylan Stuart took to Facebook Sunday to share his anger, as well as his expertise, in a scathing message he hopes makes it to the perpetrator.
“We received a call about an injured snake slithering around the car park at Bunnings in Fyshwick. It was reported that the snake's head had been injured. We assume that it had been accidentally hit by a car - so we immediately drove out to sort the situation,” he explained.
He praised the staff members at Bunnings for keeping an eye on the snake and making sure shoppers didn’t get too close to the animal.
But when Mr Stuart arrived at the scene, he quickly realised there was little that could be done to help the animal.
“It took only a moment to realise the snake was actually missing its head and was only moving from nerves,” he wrote.
Having dealt with plenty of injured snakes including those hit by cars and attacked by other animals, he said it was clear a “sickening” act was behind the fatal injury.
“Someone has deliberately beheaded this animal in a public car park! Possibly even with a freshly purchased shovel! Absolutely disgraceful.
“No doubt this abhorrent act was done out of fear.”
Mr Stuart took the opportunity to remind the public that native Australian animals are protected by law and those who kill them risk prosecution.
In such a situation, he urged people to exercise caution and, if possible, to leave snakes alone and allow them to move along without agitating or provoking them. Trying to physically attack a snake could backfire, he warned.
“If this person had not of finished the job properly and just badly injured the snake, then instead of having a calm and cruisy snake passing through the car park, you would have a highly anxious, incredibly alert animal in pain – and that is a dangerous snake! This sort of behaviour could get others bitten.”
Despite the potentially lethal nature of snakes, killing them still amounts to a cruelty that people would never tolerate if it was done towards other animals, Mr Stuart argued.
“So a message to the person that did this: what you have done is a crime, it is no different to the cruelty of other animals ... You are not a hero, you are a scumbag.
“You were not protecting your family or the general public, all you did was kill an innocent animal and put yourself and others at unnecessary risk.”
Mr Stuart said snakes don't attack people, however they will defend themselves against people if it is warranted.
Bunnings said its staff checked the carpark and was unable to find evidence that the snake was harmed on site.
“On Saturday afternoon, a customer reported seeing an injured snake in the carpark of our Fyshwick store,” Bunnings Area Manager Merv Stanford told Yahoo News Australia.
“The team immediately cordoned off the area and called a snake rescue professional, who attended the store to assist.
“The safety of our customers and team members is our number one priority and we thank our team for the calm and professional way they handled the situation.”
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