A deadly creature found minding its own business soaking up some rays in Queensland made for an interesting encounter for a local, who spotted the reptile on a beach.
The poisonous sea snake was discovered on the sand on Torquay Beach in Hervey Bay, on the state’s Fraser Coast, on Tuesday.
A woman walking along the beach at the time opted to pick the highly venomous snake up and place it back in the water, according to a post she made to a local Facebook group.
“Nice walk today except for a visitor that should’ve stayed in the sea. I had to put him back. Watch out in case he comes back in,” she wrote.
The woman faced the wrath of more than a hundred people, who expressed in comments their disbelief at her touching the snake and daring to move it.
“Omg l would of run,” one person wrote, while others pointed out that picking up the dangerous animal perhaps was not the most sensible of ideas.
“Please contact a snake handler, sea snakes washed up on the beach means they are not well,” someone said.
“Wow lucky it didn’t bite you, you would be dead,” a third wrote.
Another chimed in with a theory suggesting cold weather over the weekend “stirred up” the sea snakes, encouraging them to swim to shore in search of warmth.
“Remember the reef is only 30 metres from the low tide mark. Sea surface temp this morning was only 17.2 degrees and will get lower yet. They are the same as a land snake they need warm blood to move around,” they wrote in a comment.
They added the local osprey “just love sea snakes to eat”.
Someone else said sea snakes were also known for travelling to shore to die.
The woman updated her post in response to the criticism, reminding people she was simply trying to help the snake, who she suspected was ill.
“Please stop overreacting to this post. Sea snakes live in and around reefs, they avoid humans and seeing one is very rare,” she wrote.
“He or she was obviously not well or needed warmth, and went out to the reef after being put back (in the ocean).”
Snake catcher Colin Shoemark told Yahoo News Australia sea snakes were “highly venomous” but their venom was “not fully understood yet”.
“A defensive bite from one of these animals could be fatal,” Mr Shoemark said.
Sea snakes washed up on a beach were most likely injured, he said, encouraging people to report the animal to authorities so a trained trained wildlife carer could look after it.
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