A snake has been found slithering under a Christmas tree among the presents.
The Keelback snake had been hiding under the tree at a home in Hervey Bay, Australia, a snake catcher said in a Facebook post. The snake was removed by snake catcher Drew Godfrey of Hervey Bay Snake Catchers.
Keelback snakes are a non-venomous species commonly encountered in Hervey Bay. They are shy, meaning they can slither away quickly if startled. Although they are not venomous, they have been known to bite in self-defense if they feel provoked or threatened.
The species can be found in a wide variety of habitats across northern and eastern Australia.
Christmas falls right in the middle of Australia’s snake season, which takes place in the warmer, summer months. Snakes become more active in the warmer months as the reptiles are cold-blooded.
But during particularly hot days, the snakes will also seek out shelter from our sun, meaning they can occasionally slither into residential properties.
Snakes can sometimes be found in strange areas, including roofs, cars and, at this particular time of year, Christmas trees.
Although this particular species is not dangerous, there have been other instances where that wasn’t the case.
In 2021, a South Africa-based couple discovered one of the country’s most-venomous snakes hiding in their Christmas tree branches.
The couple had not long decorated their tree when they realized something was lurking within the branches, CNN reported. They soon discovered that a boomslang was inside the tree. The boomslang snake is incredibly venomous and a bite can cause severe symptoms within minutes.
Christmas tree owner Rob Wild told CNN at the time: “I didn’t know what it was at the time but then I Googled what snakes are in our area and it came up immediately as a boomslang. I thought ‘holy Moses, this is the king of all poisonous snakes,”
Having real Christmas trees can pose other risks. Some may even be hiding insects.
In 2017, a man living in Seoul took to Facebook to warn others that a pine-cone-like clump on his Christmas tree actually turned out to be a sac of hundreds of praying mantis eggs.
Daniel Reed said on his Facebook post: “If you happen to see a walnut sized/shaped egg mass, on your Christmas tree, don’t fret, clip the branch and put it in your garden. These are 100-200 praying mantis eggs! We had two egg masses on our tree this year. Don’t bring them inside they will hatch and starve!”
Do you have an animal or nature story to share with Newsweek? Do you have a question about snakes? Let us know via [email protected]
The post Snake Found Hiding Under Christmas Tree Among Presents appeared first on Newsweek.