Finding a poisonous snake at your feet as you pull out of the airport parking lot is the ultimate welcome to Australia sign.
To remove an eastern brown snake from a car at the Golden Coast airport in Queensland, Australia, on Wednesday, snake catcher Tim Hudson was called in.
“The owner of the car was picking up a friend at the airport and as her friend got into the passenger side of the car she noticed a snake at her feet as they were leaving the car park,” Hudson, of Hudson Snake Catching, told Newsweek. “They immediately stopped the car in the car park and got out.”
In a Facebook post, Hudson described the snake as an “unexpected hitchhiker.” This “hitchhiker” is the second most venomous snake in the world and is responsible for more snake bite fatalities than any other species in Australia.
Although eastern brown snakes tend to avoid people, they can be fiercely protective and will frequently bite if they sense a threat. A potent neurotoxin found in their venom gradually paralyses the victim’s heart, lungs, and diaphragm, causing them to suffocate.
Hudson found the snake under the passenger seat’s carpet lining after an hour of looking. With the owner’s consent, we had to remove the lining in order to frighten the animal into the open. “We managed to catch the snake behind the driver’s seat after closing the car, turning on the air conditioning, and blasting the heat in an effort to overheat the snake and tempt it to emerge from hiding.
“As we knew it was a deadly eastern brown, we used our leather glove so we could safely grab it in the confined space without having to aim for a tail grab.”
According to Hudson, it’s not unusual for people to discover snakes inside their cars: “Snakes first enter garages in search of warmth, and they can fit into spaces that are only a third of their body width. As cold-blooded reptiles, they must regulate their body temperature, so they seek the warmth of a car engine or a closed garage, which is why we frequently find them in the engines of cars and trucks.”
According to Hudson, you should immediately seal up your car and call a snake catcher if you ever believe a snake has entered it. It pays to be cautious and avoid parking close to trees, and if your car is packed away at night, make sure your garage door is closed and sealed.