A well-known Queensland snake catcher had one of his most stressful moments on the job when forced to wrangle two deadly snakes at once after "interrupting" their mating session.
The ordeal was captured on video after Stuart McKenzie from Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7 was called to a job in a client's backyard.
When boldly picking up what are believed to be two eastern brown snakes with one hand during their alone time, the creatures clearly became enraged.
"This was one of the most stressful catches," Mr McKenzie said in the caption of his TikTok video.
As he is lifting them up one manages to slip out of his grasp, putting the snake catcher into a brief state of panic.
Quickly recovering, the professional picks it up by the tail again in his other hand, while a team member holds up a bag.
"Did you want two bags or one?," the woman asks. "No" he responds while struggling as one of the snake lunges up towards him. "Just the one."
After putting one of the snakes in a bag, the struggle is not yet over as the other takes the opportunity to pounce towards Mr McKenzie's body. "Get down," the man says to the snake. "See how defensive he is, look at that!."
After a few more attempts to strike, the snake is safely placed in another bag. "That was nuts, are you alright?" the woman asks Mr McKenzie, who shows his one hand trembling from the adrenaline. "We just disturbed them from a nice little mating session, I'd be pissed off too," she says.
Queensland snake catcher praised for efforts
The video was viewed almost 46,000 times and naturally got everyone's heart racing.
Many congratulated the professional with how he dealt with two highly venomous snakes, saying the close calls were just "millimetres [away] from a hospital visit".
"My heart was in my mouth watching you wrangle the two of them Stuart. Wow," one person commented.
"Bro's just duel wielding some eastern browns," another said.
"You interrupted his mating session he almost bit yours off," a third person joked.
Eastern brown to blame for 1 in 2 snake deaths each year
As one of the most common snakes on the east coast of Australia, the highly venomous eastern brown is responsible for the most snakebite fatalities every year.
“We only see about two deaths a year in Australia and about 60 per cent of them result from incidents with brown snakes,” Australian Reptile Park’s Billy Collett previously told Yahoo News Australia. “Normally from someone trying to kill or capture the snake not trained in it. That's why we say to people, even if you think you've not been bitten by a snake, put a bandage on.”
Anyone who spots a snake is told not to go anywhere near it. “Stay away from it, don't muck with it and call your local snake catcher.”
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