While most reasonable human beings would do anything to avoid encountering a venomous snake in the wild, there is a group in Australia that understands the someone has to get the job done when a snake is disrupting the neighborhood. The Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers are a 24-hour service Australian that people can call when the worst happens and they spot a slithering snake intruder near their homes or in a public space. These pros will come in and do for a moderate fee what most of us wouldn’t do for a million bucks.
They show off their skills in a recent video posted to Facebook. On a particularly busy day, they were called to two snake sightings at the same time. In the first call, two of the Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers find a pair of Eastern Brown snakes mating in a drain pipe. Because their heads are in a drain and they’re, frankly, distracted by sex, one of the handlers is able to easily walk up on them and grab them by the tail. Hearts stop for a moment when he drops one of them but he manages to quickly scoop it back up. The brave handler holds the two snakes out in front of him as they do everything in their power to bite him.
His snake-handling assistant is ready with two bags on sticks that he places the snakes into individually so that they can move them without fear of being bitten. Just like that, the day is saved, but the snakes are likely pretty sexually frustrated. According to The Australian Museum, Eastern Brown Snakes typically mate between early and late spring (mid-September to the end of November). This video took place in late October so it makes sense to not only find a pair of Eastern Browns but to have two calls at once as they’re coming out of hiding to do the deed with one another.
The second call was a bit less heart-pounding but still just as mind-boggling to see. This time, a different brave snake handler flies solo when he sees the snake retreating into a nearby construction site. He grabs it by the tail as well and holds it up and in front of him to avoid getting bit. However, unlike the first part of the video, this person inexplicably wears shorts to a job that forces him to dodge snakes biting at his legs all day.
The Australian Museum notes that, while their first choice is typically to run or hide from threats like human beings, Eastern Brown snakes are a naturally alert and defensive breed. While they don’t inject their prey with a lot of venom, if they get you it sucks. They inject powerful presynaptic neurotoxins, procoagulants, cardiotoxins and nephrotoxins, and “successful envenomation” can result in progressive paralysis and uncontrollable bleeding.
Citizens in Australia are advised to avoid these snakes as fatalities can occur. If you’re bitten, seek medical attention immediately. If you see one, definitely don’t run up to it in shorts and grab its tail — get a professional who works 24/7 to do it for you. He’s got the bite-proof bag, after all.
Unfortunately, if you’re an average Australian citizen and are creeped out by snakes, you’re still likely to encounter an Eastern Brown at some point in your life. They typically are attracted to areas where land is disturbed for construction and urbanization as it shakes out their natural prey like mice, rats and birds. Now, before you go starting a “USA!” chant, keep in mind that America has its fair share of “holy crap, oh God no!” snake breeds as well.