Snake catchers in Queensland, Australia, have removed a mildly venomous snake from under a child’s bed.
Stuart McKenzie, from Sunshine Snake Catchers 24/7, was called to the home on November 16 when a family pulled out drawers full of Lego and found a brown-colored snake lurking behind them.
The snake catcher believes that the snake, which he identified as a brown tree snake, may have been there all night as the girl slept.
“The unknown question in all of this is, how long was the snake under there for??! McKenzie explained on Facebook. “The fact that it ended up being a brown tree snake, we are hoping it has come in overnight as they are a nocturnal species. But it is highly likely that the family’s daughter spent the night sleeping with the snake in her room!”
The team uploaded a video of the snake rescue to their Facebook page, where it has received over a thousand reactions.
Fortunately, while still venomous, the brown tree snake is far less deadly than the eastern brown snake, is are responsible for more deaths in Australia than any other species of snake.
There are no recorded deaths of adults from the brown tree snake, but the United States Geological Survey (USGS) reports that children can have adverse reactions to the bites of these reptiles.
The brown tree snake poses much more of a problem to ecosystems than it does to humans. The reptile is native to parts of Indonesia, the Solomon Islands, New Guinea, and Australia, but is aggressively spreading to other regions.
The brown tree snake’s geographic range has expanded to Guam, Saipan, and other islands of the western Pacific. The snake was first sighted in Gaum in the 1950s and by the 2020s had reached population numbers of 4,000 to 10,000 snakes per square mile across the entire island.
When the reptile colonizes a new habitat it is known to decimate local populations of small vertebrates.
This may be down to the snake’s status as a voracious predator, able to eat as much as 70 percent of its own body mass per day. Smaller brown tree snakes feed on small birds, amphibians, lizards, and other reptiles. Larger examples of the species will hunt large birds, larger lizards, and small mammals.
McKenzie points out in the video that the snake would struggle to envenomate him as it does this by crewing down on its target rather than just biting it. This is because the teeth that inject venom in the brown tree snake are actually at the back of its jaw.
After removing the snake from the room and the family’s home McKenzie took it to the bush and released it back into the wild.
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