Warning for homeowners after deadly 2kg find in backyard

Local wildlife rescuers have warned homeowners against using this equipment after a snake became trapped and suffered dehydration.

A tangled mess found in Sydney's north has prompted a warning to homeowners, with the call to stop buying commonly used netting in the hope it will stop injuries to unsuspecting wildlife.

On Sunday residents in Terrey Hills were shocked to find a large red-bellied black snake baking in the sun after getting tangled up while "trying to traverse a veggie garden". With cuts all over its body from an attempted escape, the snake — affectionately nicknamed Crispy — became stuck in direct sunlight.

Left, the snake can be seen on the lawn with the netting tangled around it. Right, a close up of the snakes injuries, with its skin burnt and cut.
The large red-bellied black snake was tangled up in lawn netting, often used by homeowners to protect their plants from strong wind and pests. Source: Facebook/Terrey Hills

After seeing the snake, residents immediately called Sydney Wildlife Rescue for assistance, who confirmed Crispy, who weighed a whopping 2 kilograms, was "dehydrated" and had "severe constriction injuries".

"[He] is a very, very big red-bellied black snake! The average adult red-belly weighs maybe 500g to a kilo," a woman who appears to work for the organisation posted on a community Facebook group. "As a result, he is also very strong so cutting him out of the netting was quite tricky!"

Avoid 'awful' netting, homeowners warned

The woman warned homeowners against buying and laying the netting, used to protect plants, as its easy for wildlife to get stuck in it.

"Please don't EVER use this stuff. Please use wildlife-friendly netting only — or none at all," the poster shared, before adding, "if you can poke your fingers through the holes, it's a deathtrap for wildlife."

Many who responded online were thankful for the advice, and many sent well wishes to the injured highly-venomous snake.

Two rescuers work together to help remove the netting from the snake atop a bed covered by a towel.
Rescuers shared it was 'tricky' to remove the netting from the snake due to its size and weight. Source: Facebook/Terrey Hills

"Poor fella! Wishing him a speeding recovery," one commented, while another said, "Such helpful information for us all, thank you." Red-bellied black snakes are the most frequently encountered snakes on the east coast of Australia, yet thankfully they only deliver a serious bite under "severe molestation", according to the Australian Museum.

Their venom causes muscle necrosis and blood clots, as well as severe swelling, sweating and diarrhoea. They grow between 1.5 to 2 metres long.

The snake entanglement is the latest in a string of incidents of wildlife getting stuck in netting, with a possum recently trapped by a soccer net in the backyard of a Brisbane property.

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