I’m starting to get used to the idea that living in Far North Queensland means literally living with nature. I cannot believe the frequency with which we receive calls from people asking us to get rid of a snake they’ve found in their homes.
While oftentimes the snakes Tanya removes are just a few meters long, the rainforest grows them big and every once in a while she turns up to a place and the snake is massive.
Warm-blooded prey, most likely family pets, draws pythons into residential areas. They can smell their prey for miles and will patiently wait above a doggie door until the perfect moment to do a quick snatch and squeeze.
Dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits and other domestic animals can become food for the snakes especially if they are kept outside. Snakes can get into any number of impossibly small spots.
People who have chickens are also vulnerable if they don’t build impenetrable chook pens/chicken coops. The snake will go in, eat one (or more birds) and find itself too bloated to leave. Owners show up and are surprised by their new guest.
Potential pet owners in Far North Queensland should be aware of these circumstances and plan ahead, because it can be difficult to explain to a child why Fluffy disappeared. Because, isn’t it easier to get fast food from a drive-thru window than to park your car and walk inside? It’s the same thing for the pythons. Why hunt your prey in the rainforest when there are so many available in the suburbs just asking to be eaten?
Luckily, Tanya removed this python from a woman’s home before it feasted on the family cat. Tanya released it far away from the home, because if it was too close the snake would just return again. When we let it go, the snake seemed happy to find the nearest tree and head for the top.
Historically, snakes have gotten a bad rap. I mean, even back in the Garden of Eden snakes copped the blame. In modern media, there are countless horror flicks that portray snakes as the villain. Unfortunately, this is also the reason so many people fear them.
From my experience of watching Tanya interact with them, snakes seem to be gentle as. I really don’ t know why everyone is so frightened (of course, there are many that can easily kill you with a single bite and apparently there’s no anti-venom stocked at some hospitals, but that’s for another post).
Snakes are a part of the cycle of life, just like death and taxes. There’s no need to vehemently hate them or be scared stupid over them. They’re all part of the beauty of nature . . . just don’t be a hero and try removing them on your own. Call an expert.