Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A not-so-welcome visitor

Those of you who follow me on Facebook will already know this, but my plans for today's post have been thrown into disarray by a unexpected and totally unwelcome visitor. Last week, we met for what I hoped to be the first and last time, but alas - that wasn't the case. Here in Brisbane, particularly in acreage areas like ours, snakes are an unfortunate part of life. I have a healthy respect for them, and in fact, I've saved many from drowning in our pool. We've snakes of all shapes and sizes, including one huge carpet python, but up until recently I hadn't had the pleasure of a visitor like this:

Eastern Brown Snake 

Coastal Taipan

Notice the smaller than usual pics - I didn't want to scare you too much :)

Australia boasts nine out of ten of the world's most venomous snakes, and these guys are numbers two and three on that list. From the Queensland Museum's website:

The Coastal Taipan is Australia's most dangerous land snake.
Photograph by Angus Emmott.


This is a dangerously venomous species with strongly neurotoxic venom.  It possesses the third most toxic land snake venom known.  Many human deaths have resulted from bites by this species.  If bitten, apply first aid and seek urgent medical attention.  First aid procedure for any snakebite from the Australian Venom Research UnitExternal link.

I was on the phone to mum yesterday, when I saw our pooch Darcy (who would have to be the world's most cowardly dog, or so I thought) frantically chasing something under our barbeque.Expecting it to be nothing more than a cane toad (yuk, I know!) you can imagine my shock when one of these fellas came shooting out, with the dog in hot pursuit. I had to risk life and limb to rescue both dog and snake, and after locking the dog inside, I called the snake catcher. He proceeded to tell me that unless I knew where it went, it was no use him coming out, and all I could do was lock the dog in and keep an eye out. He also thought it would be a good idea to let the snake take cover in our laundry so that we could contain it until he arrived with a nice big carpet snake, which would apparently fix the problem. Of course, why didn't I think of that?????? 

I'm still unsure whether it was a taipan or a brown snake, but neither option is particularly appealing. My daughter called this morning to say it was back again, so the time for fun and games are over! No more Mrs Nice Guy, I'm calling in the big guns - Steve's Wildlife Warriors are my next point of call. I'll let you know how I get on, so wish me luck!


  1. Scary stuff.... Our neighbours mentioned they had seen some brownies about too. I hope someone can come and remove it for you pronto. I will be wearing my high gum boots throughout summer just for safety! ;-)

  2. OMG! I will be totally freaked out if I see one in my yard. What does the carpet snake do?

  3. goog luck darl - hope you sort the little bugger out! xx

  4. I hope this all works out well my friend. But one thing's for sure...this is not a post I'll be revisiting! I am completely terrified of snakes..even pictures of them :)

  5. Kerri - forget the wildlife warriors - I would be making sure the big guns were made of heavy metal with the distinct smell of gunpowder if I were you. Those little buggers chill me to the bone....


  6. I had to read this with my eyes shut. I am NEVER EVER coming back to Australia. It is DANGEROUS.

    And you think I'm joking?!

  7. Eeeek! How scary! Hope you get rid of him and all his friends stay away!! xx

  8. Seriously Kerri, I don't know how you can stand it. I was on the phone to my Mum (what is it with that!) when I had my very first encounter with a huntsman. That put me in bed for 2 days... yes, really.
    Hope your friend is gone before it does any damage.

  9. Unfortunately I can relate only too well Kerri.

    During the past week our afternoon walks have resembled a game of 'Snakes and Ladders' as the slithers dash across roads and I literally climb the air like a demented character out of a Disney cartoon.

    So far [fingers and everything else crossed] I haven't had to deal with one closer to home. I'm guessing our posse [4] of kookaburras that have taken up residence on our upstairs verandahs are seeing to that.

    Good luck with catching the varmint I hope he's gone soon.

    Felicity x

  10. Well, that's a bit too exciting! Keep us posted.
    Are carpet snakes immune to snake venom? Not that I really need to know...

  11. You poor think Kerri!!!! I've got shivers up my back just thinking about it. I hope all of you, including Darcy don't get in it's path. Neighbours a few houses down had a yellow belly black snake on the driveway the other day so I'm a bit freaked :( the pros and cons of living next to bush hey!

  12. Oh God Kerri, snakes are horrendous... hope you managed to catch the pesky little guy x

  13. I've been waiting to have the same experience here Kerri, after 4 years in the Hills I've been amazed that we haven't had to confront a king brown on the back doorstep. Lucky your dog escaped unscathed, a visit to the Vet for anti-venene & a a couple of days in doggie ICU will set you back about $3,000!
    Millie ^_^

  14. One thing you can never really adapt to in life are snakes and spiders! I grew up in New Zealand and the biggest spider I ever saw was the size of a 20c piece, so imagine my surprise when I first moved to Australia and discovered a huntsman in the lounge room, I literally jumped up onto the kitchen table, much to my husbands amusement! I slept with one eye open for days after that. I've never had the joy of meeting a snake face to face, and it is something I hope to never have to either!!

    :) Hazel
    Hazel Loves Design

  15. Oh my goodness, I'd be petrified if I saw one of those around my house, especially knowing how dangerous they are!! Hope Mr Snake Catcher finds your friend soon and moves him on somewhere else :)

  16. Oh Kerri I'm glad you made those pics smaller, those two look like a couple of nasty characters! I'm glad your dog didn't come to any harm. Good luck with catching/removing them!! Keep us updated please!

    Christine x

  17. OMG - We experienced the "Invasion of the brown tree snakes" here in the Valley a couple of months ago! Luckily our neighbour (down the hill) is the local "snake catcher" so were able to call upon him to do a bit of Snake Busting! ;)Sharyne

  18. Oh my goodness!!
    I saw my first ever snake last week, I don't know what I'd do if I saw one of those're a brave lady. X

  19. Good luck with that - I'm not a fan of snakes. Our previous house backed onto 10 acres, and we saw many snakes. Must say suburbia does not seem immune, a carpet snake made it's way into my neighbours guinea pig cage this week. Maybe the snakes are on the move?

  20. My God, I am running and I am here in Canada. What a worry! Ugh. When I was young a snake killed my cat and they would sometimes come in the house. We had Kenayan man working for us and he would kill them with a panga. Horrible.

    Do they come in the house? This is creepy.

  21. Oh. My. God. Well, my worries would be over just seeing that in real life. I would probably faint dead away.

  22. Ummmmm, no way!!! I saw a small garter snake here in the US (very harmless) and about had a heart attack!! Thanks for the smaller pictures! :) Hope you are able to fix the situation!

  23. I do really love's a shame some of them are dangerous. I'd love to hear more about the "carpet snake fixing the problem" idea!? How interesting. Our two cats seem to scare off any snakes, apparently cats aren't their favourite enemy. Good luck with your 'visitor'! Rachaelxx

  24. crikey! I didn't realise it was one of these ... I thought you had a carpet snake ... how scary! ... good luck with this! Steph.

  25. That's not something you really need in your backyard! Mum and Dad live in suburbia, but down the road from the bush and last summer I think they had 3 or 4 snakes in about a fortnight.
    I hop you get it sorted out :)

  26. Gracious, I would have been throwing a sheet over it and calling animal control to relocate it.

  27. I hope the wildlife warriors rid you of your uninvited guest!!!!!!

    I loathe snakes, we had one in the house a few weeks ago, I nearly died!!!! Oh the joys of Brisbane acreage.

    Luckily my next door neighbour is a licensed snake handler and so far has always been able to come to my rescue.

    There has been a brown snake slithering in and out of the gutter about 10 houses up the road from us...its gone now; hopefully to a far away place.

    I am now very, VERY hesitant to go into the garden during the day when I am home alone.

    Our neighbour across the road has a huge sandstone boulder wall, apparently they are very popular with snakes for homes.

  28. OMG how scary, I'd be screaming my head off and running for cover

  29. Giggle! Not at your predicament but at my reaction. From the safety ofmy lounge, I actually lifted my feet off the floor for fear of snakes lurking in the lounge! You must be a BRAVE BRAVE woman or LOVE LOVE your dog! Keep us posted!
    X Briohny.

  30. Oh my! I would be so scared!!! Don't like snakes at all...

  31. Goose bumps, here....
    As much as I adore your
    part of the world, this
    is a reality that would
    give me shivers. Love
    your straight-on attitude,
    xx Suzanne

  32. Hi kerri, i live next to the bush too and have had my cats catch a few baby brown snakes (western brown) they look the same as yours.. i used to be petrified, but i soon got over it and devised my own catching technique!! I keep a plastic box with some old kitchen tongs in the garage and i catch the head in the tongs then put it in the box.. And i must confess, the last few i have killed. I know that sounds awful, but they are soooo dangerous, i dont really want them around at all. (i think its illegal to kill them too....) i just keep thinking that if they bit one of my children,... best to get rid of them i think!
    hope you catch yours soon!!
    laura xxx

  33. That is really scary! You are very brave! Kellie xx

  34. EEEK! I would have been so frightened! Well done for saving the dog!



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