GYMPIE firefighters could not just sit by and let a woman hold on while waiting for a snake catcher to remove a 1.8m python from her toilet before she could go.
With no snake catcher available to do the job, the Thomas St resident contacted Gympie Fire and Rescue around 7pm on Wednesday and was relieved in more ways than one once the carpet python was removed from her home.
With reluctant crew members in tow, acting station officer Grant Nelson located the python slithering around on the cistern.
Firefighters are familiar with running toward danger instead of away from it but the snake was enough to make one snake-phobic firefighter (who won't be named) shudder.
Accustomed to handling snakes, Mr Nelson carefully picked up the carpet python by the head and in the middle of its body and placed it in a bag with the help of crew member Brenda Lewis.
They then took it back to the station where they kept it in the bag overnight until end of shift when Mr Nelson could release it on a property outside of Gympie yesterday.
While catching snakes is not in the firefighter's handbook, officers are often called to remove the reptiles as they become more active during spring and early summer.
The majority of times, a snake catcher is called to do the job, but in a situation where this cannot be arranged, it's a firefighter's duty of care to deal with the slithery reptiles, whether they like it or not.
The best thing to avoid unwanted visitors is to make sure yards are mowed, unnecessary materials are removed and pet food stored correctly so the scent of pesky rodents does not attract hungry snakes.
WAYS TO SNAKE-PROOF YOUR HOME
- Keep lawns mowed and weeds and other vegetation trimmed.
- Remove potential snake and prey hiding places such as wood piles, rock piles and debris. If you have a mouse problem and live in areas inhabited by rattlesnakes, chances are high that you will also have a snake problem.
- Seal foundation cracks with caulk or concrete mortar. Pay special attention to areas where pipes or wires enter buildings. This will prevent snakes from entering in search of food and shelter.
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