In Queensland, Australia, a snake catcher saved schoolchildren from a terrifying day when a highly venomous snake was discovered nestled by the trash cans in a school.
On the morning of February 22, teachers at Lawnton State School called Steven Brown of Brisbane North Snake Catchers and Relocation after they found a snake on the school grounds. Until the reptile could be removed, they surrounded the area with a cordon.
Posting about the rescue on Facebook, Brown explained that it was an eastern brown snake, also known as a Pseudonaja textilis, “capable of a fatal bite if handled or harassed.” He praised the staff who discovered the snake, adding they had “done an amazing job closing off the area until I got there.”
According to the Australian Museum in Sydney, the species is common throughout the country’s eastern region. They frequently inhabit densely populated areas, which enables them to adapt to human disturbance.
The eastern brown snake is extremely dangerous despite being fairly common. Its venom contains dangerous procoagulants, cardiotoxins, nephrotoxins, and presynaptic neurotoxins. These, according to the Australian Museum, can result in paralysis and uncontrollable bleeding.
Brown informed Newsweek of his discovery after safely removing the snake and transporting it to a location far from the neighborhood’s homes and schools.
He said: “The staff had closed off the area from the children, and the snake was in a fenced-off area where garbage bins were kept. They closed off about 20 to 30 meters [65 to 98 feet] around where the snake was.
“I did a quick search and the snake appeared, so I quickly grabbed it by the tail by hand. It was then taken well away from any homes and roads, and no one was hurt thankfully.”
According to Brown, the snake was about 3 feet long, which is a little less than the species’ typical length of 5 feet.
The snake was removed safely and humanely, which would have relieved the school staff and students. Brown didn’t completely escape the incident unscathed, but this time it wasn’t because of a snake.
Brown made light of his ordeal by writing on the Facebook post that he “got a couple of wasp stings for my troubles from a nest hiding under the lip of a garbage bin.” Without a doubt, he preferred a wasp sting to a snake bite.
Brown provides sage advice on what to do if someone encounters this type of snake in the future.
He said: “These snakes are very common and are the second most venomous land snake on the planet, but if left alone, they will carry on with their own business. With it being snake season currently, they are on the move and looking for food.
“If you see a snake, do not approach it. Keep your distance and call a professional to remove the snake if need be. If it’s in close proximity to you, it’s best to stand still and allow the snake to move on. If you don’t move, the snake won’t see you as a threat.”