Terrifying moment snake slithers under woman's beach towel

Beachgoers in Perth were sent running when a slithery intruder made its way under a woman's towel on Sunday.

The frightening snake encounter was captured on camera by Lisa Houlihan as she enjoyed a family day out with her son and husband at Hamersley Pool in North Beach around 11am on Sunday.

“We were just sitting there on the beach and suddenly it came sliding along past everyone and then ended up under a lady’s towel,” she told The West Australian.

The unwanted guest was caught hiding under a woman's towel. Source: Lisa Houlihan

Ms Houlihan reckons the snake was a dugite and around one metre long, as dozens of people "jumped up" to escape the serpent.

She called the local ranger from the beach's car park but was dismayed when told they could only pick up domestic pets.

The caller was then passed on to wildlife handlers who told her they could only collect snakes from households.

One brave beachgoer eventually pulled the towel off the snake before it slithered off. Source: Lisa Houlihan

“Eventually a guy went over and lifted the towel up…the snake stayed there for a while and eventually it took off," she said.

Ms Houlihan estimated there were about 20 people, half of them children, at the relatively secluded beach and she was disappointed by the inaction of the council at the time of the incident.

“You can contact a professional snake catcher but there’s a call-out fee and then it’s something like $50 per half-hour until they catch it - how do you work out who pays for that?," she questioned.

The City of Stirling’s parks and sustainability manager Ian Hunter said the council’s trained reptile catchers were unavailable on weekends.