Remember when you would check to make sure you had everything you needed for school in your backpack? Homework? Check! Texbooks? Check! Venomous red-bellied black snake? Check! Notebook? Che–wait, wait. Let’s go back one.
Jokes like this, we have to imagine, are being repeated in the town of Stawell — in the Wimmera region of Victoria, Australia — after a child was terrified to find a massive snake in her backpack, according to the report from Newsweek. The name of both the child and their school was withheld for privacy, but snake catcher Gianni Hodgson showed up there on Tuesday in the wake of the snake’s discovery. Hodgson was able to safely remove the snake and transfer it to a bag designed for such reptiles. Afterward he transported it to another location. You can see the shots of Hodgson moving the snake out of the backpack below.
Hodgson identified the animal as a red-bellied black snake, which is one of the most oft-encountered snakes in the region. They can get up to 2.5 meters long — or approximately 8 feet — while their average length is about 1.5 meters, which is around 5 feet. The report in Newsweek doesn’t mention the specific length of the captured reptile, though in the pictures it appears to be as long as Hodgson is tall. Red-bellied black snakes like the one found in the child’s backpack are venomous, however Newsweek reports their venom has never been reported to kill people, but only to make them significantly ill.
The snake catcher admitted that a child’s backpack is probably the strangest, most unexpected place he’s ever found a snake. That’s saying a lot, because Hodgson added he’s found them in some weird spots. He mentioned finding snakes in roofs, for example, and added he’d needed to retrieve one from a mine shaft.
While certainly no one wants to find a snake in their backpack, in their roof, or down their favorite mine shaft, in all those instances Hodgson was lucky in at least one way — he didn’t need a crane. That wasn’t the case a couple of weeks ago in the Dominica rainforest. A crane was needed to lift a 20 ft long, 220 pound snake as the area was being cleared. You can see the amazing video below.
If they need help wrangling snakes or any other reptiles in Australia, the Dominica rainforest, or anywhere else, they could do a lot worse than give Orlando, Florida resident Eugene Bozzi a call. Bozzi went viral in September after courageously and ingeniously using a garbage can to capture an alligator that had wandered onto his property. Bozzi went viral again in October after he likewise found a huge snake on his property and escorted it away using a broom and a big bag. A Philadelphia native, Bozzi told a magazine in his hometown he’s working on a pitch to Netflix and is hoping to become the “Black Steve Irwin.” He mentioned being willing to face down grizzlies in Alaska as well as spend time in a shark cage. Compared to that, snakes in backpacks would be a piece of cake!