Last Friday, in my post about the hot weather, I showed you a video of a carpet python in a swimming pool. I also mentioned a different python was found wrapped three times around a baby’s arm and the baby’s mother had to pull the snake off.
The poor baby got bitten a few times in the process, but no real harm was done. As I wrote that article, I felt I would need to come back to carpet pythons, because it’s important to know that snakes here in Australia are not all the same, and my guess would be that most people’s favourite snake is the carpet python.
The carpet python
I’ve seen a few carpet pythons, which are also sometimes called diamond pythons or carpet snakes. I saw two tiny ones over at the Botanical Gardens in Brisbane within about six months of arriving here. Then when I went camping in Mount Tambourine, they had a carpet snake in the roof of one of the outbuildings.
You might also remember that Ben had a carpet snake draped across his chair on the balcony outside his back door.
I’m pretty sure what I saw climbing up a tree on Moreton Island was a carpet python; check it out for yourself if you like by watching my video Moreton Island Wildlife.
So why would carpet pythons be the people’s favourite? Here are few reasons:
- They are NOT venomous.
- They are quite calm, relaxed and timid.
- They are not aggressive.
- They ARE beautiful.
- They are more active at night time.
- They love climbing trees and living in lofts.
- They eat mice, rodents (a good thing), birds, possums and the occasional small dog or cat (a bad thing).
I found a great video of a carpet python posted on YouTube by Greg the gardener; he speaks very highly of carpet pythons. I kind of go along with what he says, with the exception of a couple of his quotes; “..very very rarely ever bite even if provoked…” and he describes them as “..completely harmless..”
Carpet python behaviour can be unpredictable. A carpet python will bite if it feels threatened, especially a female protecting her nest. And if you try to pick up a carpet python as that mother did when she found one on her baby, then there is a chance the snake will bite, as that one did.
But then you know that from last week’s quote by the snake catcher who said “When you grab a snake, a snake in its reptilian brain thinks, ‘anything that can grab me can also eat me’.”
If you do get bitten by one, it will hurt and will probably cause lacerations. If bitten, it would be advisable to get tetanus protection.
If snake’s scare you, please remember that I’ve been here over five years and my snake sightings are still in single figures. And I’m looking for them! Half of the snakes I have seen were pointed out to me because other people know I am looking for them.
Whatever your view about snakes, I think it’s important to know that we do have some that are simply more beautiful than they are dangerous. Here’s Greg the gardener…