Sydney Trains called out for handling of snake ‘trying to board carriage’

·3-min read

A snake catcher has issued an important warning after a slippery customer was stopped from boarding a train.

Sydney Trains shared an image on social media of a diamond python trying to make its way onto a carriage at Stanwell Park, a northern suburb of Wollongong.

A photo of a diamond python attempting to slither from a station playform onto a train. Source: Sydney Trains
Stunned passangers have had a close encounter with a snake while trying to board a train south of Sydney. Source: Sydney Trains

“This snakey boi was sssspotted trying to step, or should we say, slither onto train on the Ssssouth Coast line. We're told he was going to run some errands near Asp-quith Station before heading home to Harr-hiss Park,” the Facebook caption read.

“Unfortunately he wasn't able to get on because he forgot his travel passsssss.”

Hundreds of comments swiftly slithered in, including a picture of a Sydney Trains employee holding the snake over the platform from the tip of its tail.

A woman responded accusing the man of holding the snake incorrectly.

“Likely had its back broken by this,” she wrote.

A screenshot of a Facebook comment which says the worker is holding the snake incorrectly. Source: Facebook
A Sydney Trains worker was criticised online for how he handled the snake. Source: Facebook

Snake catcher explains correct handling technique

Her claim was backed up by Illawarra Snake Catcher Glen Peacock, who explained to Yahoo News that diamond pythons are very “heavy bodied" and carry "a fair bit of weight". 

“You run the risk of stretching the spine or possibly fracturing it,” he said.

Mr Peacock said it’s a common mistake people make when they encounter a snake.

“I see it quite often online,” he said.

“Appreciate people doing a good deed, he (the Sydney Trains worker) was trying to help the snake which is great.”

A photo of a Sydney Trains worker holding the snake by the tail. Source: Sydney Trains
A snake catcher said diamond pythons are "docile" enough to hold with two hands but warned against picking up a snake before calling an expert. Source: Sydney Trains

However he warned that holding a snake from its tail “can cause more damage than good”.

He described diamond pythons as “very inquisitive” and “extremely docile” as he outlined the correct way they should be handled.

“You can get away with picking it up with two hands, they rarely bite,” he said.

“If you want to pick it up, hold it a third of the way down.

“They don’t lash out unless you’re handling them wrong.”

But he urged against anyone picking up a snake without calling an expert first.

“Most people don’t know what they’re looking at,” he said.

“If you don’t know what it is, don't touch it.”

Photo sparks ‘hiss-terrical’ reaction online

As expected, the post by Sydney Trains was inundated with references to the movie “Snakes on a Train”.

“The sequel absolutely no one asked for!” one person commented.

Another joked: “He left his opal card at home.. but he had his diamond one”

“Your travel pass is serpently easy to forget when you don't have pockets,” someone added.

Many said the snake simply wanted a “short excursion” after lockdown, with one questioning “does he need to be double vaxxed?”

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