A Queensland snake catcher has rescued a snake duct taped to a pole by a family who mistakenly thought they were doing the right thing by keeping it from running away.
Stu McKenzie, from Sunshine Coast Snake Catcher 24/7, shared video on Facebook of his encounter with a carpet python at a home.
The snake's tail is tightly coiled around a pole, with layers of black tape wrapped around it.
In a video of the rescue, Mr McKenzie tries to slowly peel off the tape before realising the damage it's doing to the reptile.
“This tape is not good for their skin,” Mr McKenzie says in the video.
“It’s taking off his scales. That’s not good for him at all.”
The snake’s head moves freely but its tail remains strapped to the pole. Its scales can be seen attached to the adhesive on the underside of the tape.
He shared the video hoping to educate people and said those responsible now understand what they did is wrong.
He adds “it’s an important message” that people should leave snakes alone when they encounter them. It’s also important to note in this instance that carpet pythons are relatively harmless.
“Probably one of the worst things you can do is tape a snake to an object,” he says.
“I get that you don’t want it to move on and these people were concerned that it was going to get into their house but in the end, who cares if it gets in your house because we’re on our way and we’re coming out to catch it.”
The snake catcher says he has never witnessed a snake taped to a pole before. While he believes the snake will be fine, he wants to remove the tape as “pain-free” as possible and uses olive oil and soap to counteract the adhesive.
Mr McKenzie says he also plans to get the snake treatment.
“The snake will be fine. It’s obviously a little stressful for him,” he says as he removes more tape.
He expects its scales will grow back.
Mr McKenzie wrote on Facebook he hopes the video shows the potential harm “these actions” can have on wildlife.
“If you see a snake, do not try to catch, interfere or harm the snake in any way and please leave the catching and relocating to the professionals,” he wrote.
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