More Than A Mouthful


big snake 1

Unexpected Guest at the Sheep property in North West Qld, Australia

My mother sent me some snaps from a friend of hers who’d been having some trouble on their sheep property.  They’d been losing a number of them over a period of time and he assumed it was from dingo’s or even wild dogs so he put up an electric fence.

Well wasn’t he surprised when the whole thing shorted out one night and he rolled out there the next day to find this little chap caught up in the wires. What was more disconcerting [apart from the enormous size of the thing] was that it appears it had gotten itself stuck in the early hours of the morning – returning from raiding the sheep as you can by the bulge in the belly.

 

Those wires are strung 2 Foot apart just to give you an idea of the radius of that bite

Those wires are strung 2 Foot apart just to give you an idea of the radius of that bite

 

Now most think of the python as a fairly harmless, albeit enormous, snake that you just steer clear of and let go about its business.  Lot’s of people even speak of the relative ease of getting away but those that do are not up on bush python physiology otherwise they’d know about the rather large teeth used to hold their prey in place to prevent such escapes.

Just to make things interesting it was simply stuck there, not dead, despite receiving an enormous and ongoing shock from the fence [right up until it shorted out the system] and the farmer was faced with freeing it or shooting it.  Most would be surprised to learn that shooting it wasn’t really an option but freeing this little fellow was tricky as by now it was just a TAD pissed off and snipping the wires too close to the head of the snake wouldn’t have been a good idea AT ALL.  So a meter or so away he snipped the three wires and prudently headed toward the farm Ute to await the departure of our friend.

 

53 thoughts on “More Than A Mouthful

  1. I live in America, and gun crime has been a serious hot controversial topic around here lately. However, I have had many people recently tell me that they would rather take their chance in “the ghetto” or with a madman than in Australia because of all the dangerous wildlife. It just intrigues me even more — this post is not a sight I would ever see around here! It seems so exciting. I’m happy your friend let the snake go free, now hopefully he will find a way to keep it from eating those poor sheep.

    I wonder what it was doing.. trying to bite the wires because they shocked him, maybe?

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    • That’s what the farmer thinks – it shocked him so he bit at the wires and because he managed to hook two of them it got shorted.

      I throw in a few bits of the wildlife here every now and then as a couple of my readers find it fascinating and are always asking questions.

      I did a few pieces earlier on about the not so dangerous and rather pretty or cute side to our wildlife but it is true I’m afraid that if it can kill you you’ll most likely find it here [outside of lions etc].

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  2. Bloody hell, Jenni, what an amazing story and images: I wouldn’t want to get anywhere near that fella’s laughing gear! Ending up as a snake’s digestive treat ain’t my idea of fun! Thanks for posting this weird and wonderful tale! xxx

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  3. Wooowa! I bet no one argues with that chap. Thankfully unless on escapes we do not have wild or even mildly pissed off Pythons in the UK and I can candidly say Yes!!! about that. Have a great week. Xxx

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    • Well he’s pretty impressive for a juvenile and I’m surprised the farmhand didn’t just shoot him but we’re a bit funny about our snakes here so he just freed him – from a distance of course.

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  4. While I was in Africa I saw some smaller snakes – the black mamba and viper – although those ones are venomous and decidedly worse than the big pythons they get out there. As much as I would love to see a snake this big; the photos will suffice.

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    • As a rule people aren’t it’s priority. We’ve got a large one in our roof which is fine as it means no bats, possums or mice etc eating the insulation. This is a bush python [although it is a juvinile] and it gets much bigger than the 4 or 5 meters for a regular python.

      I’ve always wanted to see a black mamba and I was under the impression they were quite large but obviously not. I think we become immune to the scare factor of snakes here, or at least in parts of Australia, simply because there are just so many of them everywhere.

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      • Black mambas are actually a greenish colour. They get the name because the inside of their mouth is black. I only saw it briefly as it slithered away into some bushes. But that was close enough. The viper I saw metres from a path that led to the showers at the campground I was staying at. He didn’t look too bothered unless you stayed and mingled a bit.

        The rock pythons in South Africa cant get to some massive sizes as well. Not Anaconda size mind you.

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      • I must admit I’m a bit fond of snakes – they’re such perfect creatures in their own way and so diverse. When I was young we moved to a new property that hadn’t been kept up and so the back paddock needed slashing. We didn’t consider the fact that once that was done that all the snakes living in those acres would want to find somewhere new to live. That turned out to be under our house so for awhile there it seemed we were tripping over them every time we stepped outside.

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  5. How come the farmer didn’t shoot the snake? In most places, at least around here, any animal that is poaching farm stock can be killed regardless of the laws on it’s killing. You mentioned that there is a sort of unspoken belief about killing snakes. What is this about?

    And absolutely awesome pictures Jenni. Whew. Thanks!

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    • As a rule they don’t go for the livestock but do keep down the wild boar, dingo’s etc that can cause havoc – I’m not sure exactly why it’s just that they’re handy as a rule. Still I would have made an exception in this case

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  6. Tell me that this isn’t a normal day on the sheep ranch. I’m not scared of much but that is a monster. I though pythons live in the jungle. That snake wasn’t dead… I swear remind me not to fall asleep while tanning… How the heck does it get a sheep?

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    • See that bulge in the middle of it’s body – that’s a sheep – for all their size these guys are fast and quiet. They’ll have the sheep wrapped using their lower body and then just swallow it whole. Game must have been scarce because as a rule they stay away from sheep and cattle properties. Oh and not to freak you out too much but while that one is big it’s not one of the really huge ones from the rain forest areas.

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    • Yeah it does seem to be the sort of creature that could sit down and discuss various ways to destroy cities with Godzilla or King Kong now doesn’t it. The scary thing – that one’s a juvenile.

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  7. This would be my most worst nightmare in the entire world! My stomach hurts now just looking at these images. I have lost my appetite. Holy wow. I’m just so freaked out right now you have no idea. And the farmer let it go. What a dear heart. I think?

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    • Honest – I think it could have been shock or the fear that if he tried to kill it with the stock rifle he had with him there was a good chance he’d only wound it and THAT would be a very very BAD idea. They’re hard to kill especially that size.

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    • I’m surprised the farmhand could hold it so steady for the shot, I’m pretty sure I’d been shaking and I’m not that phased by snakes as a rule.

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