SnakeSense: Conserving Australian Snakes and Lizards through Education

Sharing knowledge, conserving reptiles: snake catching, education, research, conservation.

The Kitchen Sink

Eastern Brown Snake trapped in netting under a kitchen sink

Eastern Brown Snake trapped in netting under a kitchen sink

What is it lately about catching snakes in the dark?  Yesterday evening at 9pm we received a frantic call from a gentleman in Taggerty, who had just discovered a 1.2m Eastern Brown Snake (2nd most venomous in the world) coiled in the cupboard under his kitchen sink.  Considering our recent cold-snap, we were startled – Browns like it hot hot hot.

Upon arrival, however, we discovered the true story.  A hole in the floor of the cupboard had been covered with bird netting, stapled randomly around the edges.  The snake had become horribly entangled in this nasty black mess, with the monofilament strands tying his coils together and cutting into his body as they did so. 

Monofilament netting can do nasty things to a snake

Monofilament netting can do nasty things to a snake

Since we were informed that particular cupboard had not been opened for several days – we deduced he had been hanging there, suspended in knots, for over 24 hours since our last hot day.

In the narrow beam of a torchlight, we threw everything out of the cupboard (except the kitchen sink!) and managed to snip the netting away from its staples and take it and the snake somewhere more suitable.

Cutting a Brown Snake free from netting is a delicate task

Cutting a Brown Snake free from netting is a delicate task

Once home and better lit, the disentanglement began.  With the snake’s head held gently inside a purpose-made plastic tube, the netting was carefully cut away from his scales, and his wounds treated.

Since the weather is too cold and wet for him to be released immediately, he is currently coiled quietly in the lap of luxury on a comfy heatpad at our shelter, Kingbilli Wildlife Refuge, until temperatures rise again.

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