Huge snake removed from central Canberra hospice

Gavin Smith with the huge Eastern Brown Snake. Picture: ACT Snake Removals

Gavin Smith with the huge Eastern Brown Snake. Picture: ACT Snake Removals

A giant eastern brown snake was found at an palliative care facility in central Canberra at the weekend.

Weighing in at 1.83kg and at approximately 1.8 metres in length, this brown snake was not what ACT Snake Removal owner and operator Gavin Smith expected.

The snake was found at Clare Holland House Hospice in Barton.

"I went there expecting it to be a standard eastern brown adult snake which usually 1.2 metres," Gavin said.

"I walked up to it, ready to get hold of its tail and put it in the bag and I saw the size of it."

"It took quite a wee while compared to normal snake catch... this guy took a bit longer because he didn't really want to get into the bag."

Before releasing the snake into the wild, Mr Smith took the animal to Animal Referral Hospital Canberra to weigh the huge snake.

While 1.8kg may not sound too heavy, it is over twice the weight of an average adult male Eastern Brown Snakes, which usually weigh in around 650 grams.

Mr Smith suspects the snake was considerably old and would likely have eaten rabbits and water rats to grow to its size.

"The snake is probably quite old and has managed to survive in this really difficult landscape for a long time, and has done incredibly well."

With the weather heating up snake spotting will increase, which may pose a threat to unsupervised pets and children.

"Unfortunately a lot of dogs and a lot of cats are bitten every year by snakes who go up to the snake to inspect it, play with it and to defend their territory."

"The snake will go into defensive mode and defend itself vigorously if threatened."

Mr Smith reminded Canberrans while snakes are highly venomous, they are not aggressive unless provoked. If a snake is spotted, he advised to keep pets and children away, keep an eye on it, and to call in a professional to remove it.

"These animals belong in the landscape, they've been here way before humans arrived on this continent," he said.

"Even though a lot of people are scared of snakes they really don't mean us any harm and they're not out to get us."

This story Huge snake removed from central Canberra hospice first appeared on The Canberra Times.


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