Snakes in Australia: My First Real Live Encounter.

The day was Friday, 5 February, that’s when it happened. On that day I had been living in Australia for two years, two months and 22 days, which is nice and easy to remember.

And that was the day it happened, at last! I saw my first real wild snake.

Yes, previously I had seen a carpet snake in the Botanical Gardens over at Mount Coot-tha, but I didn’t really count that. It could have been the gardens pet? Anyway, carpet snakes aren’t venomous.

Then I saw a much larger carpet snake over in Mount Tamborine while camping. But that definitely didn’t count because it was some kind of a pet, sort of, and it was in the store room of a shop. I only saw it because I was invited in.

But it was on Friday, whilst making our way to the furthest point east on Australia’s mainland over at Byron Bay, that I saw this light brown snake.

So what did I do? I chased it with my camera! BobinOz: intrepid reporter. Here’s the footage…………

So, with some irony, I saw my first Eastern Brown at the furthest point east in Australia. Browns are venomous snakes and they’re responsible for the majority of snake deaths in Australia. That said, do remember there aren’t many snake deaths here in Australia. On average, the brown kills less than one person a year.

Was I scared?

No, I wasn’t. Here’s why.

  • First, it had just eaten, I could see the lump in its body, so it probably wasn’t bothered about getting more food.
  • Second, it was always moving away from me, it knew I was following him and he didn’t want to know. That gave me confidence.
  • Third, and most important of all, he was only about half a metre long, just a little baby. But if his mum or dad had showed up? Or even if this little titch had decided to turn around and come towards me, I would have run like Billio!

Yes, they may only kill one a year at best, but I don’t want that one to be me!

But the point is this. Two years, 2 months and 22 days, that’s how long it took me to see a real wild snake here in Australia. I know some people think we must have to fend them off daily. It’s not true.

And I live away from the city, in relative countryside, we are supposed to have more snakes around here than most. If the fear of snakes stops you from moving to Australia, you may want to think that strategy through a bit more.

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Simon December 21, 2015, 11:36 pm | Link

    bob,
    Not scared because it was a baby? You should have been as the juveniles are often much more dangerous than the adults. Most snakes in oz will not inject venom when they bight a human… You are not a food source and they would rather keep their venom for their food. Juveniles often cannot control this function and hence will almost always inject, and yes a small one like you saw still has more than enough to kill you several times over.

    • BobinOz December 24, 2015, 1:53 am | Link

      Yes, I have since learnt that to be the case, quite a few people have pointed that out to me. My lack of fear was unfounded, I know better now. I will certainly keep my distance in future, especially from baby snakes.

  • BobinOz February 13, 2010, 9:36 pm | Link

    No, I would never attack a snake. And it’s not just because I’m pretty certain I would lose, it’s because they’re just like us, they’re just trying to survive. They are not aggressive, mostly, but they will defend themselves and why not.

    I have quite warmed to snakes since being here, the more I read about them the more I like them. I think they get a bad press, something to do with Freud and symbolism? Who knows?

    I didn’t get any adrenaline rush, perhaps I should have done. But as I say, he was just a baby. If he had have been four metres long and as wide as my ankle? Oh boy, there would have been adrenaline!

  • Rob P February 12, 2010, 7:24 pm | Link

    Good to see you did not attack it with a long handled shovel. Snakes for me are always an adrenelin rush and as I live in a semi rural area my family and I have to be aware that they are around. However if you follow some simple precautions you would be very unlucky to be bitten by one. As I like to jog around the roads of a morning I come across snakes warming themselves on the road, usually they move away before you get to them but twice I have come across browns unexpectedly, but their effect on me enabled me to easily clear the Olympic high jump and long jump qualification standards in one leap over them. People’s snake stories are always fascinating and although they freak me out its a great adrenalin rush to see them nearby.

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