Renee Cluff

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Snakes are on the move around TNQ and they’ve been spotted in some weird places

Snakes are clearly making the most of recent wet season rain in the Tropical North.

Matt Hagan, from Cairns Snake Catcher, told Tropic Now it’s his busiest time of year.

“There’s lots of food around and the temperature’s good for snake growth and so they’re feeding and foraging around houses.

“And you’ve got a lot of snake eggs hatching at this time of the year, they hatch now because of the abundance of food.

“It’s certainly not holiday time for me and I’ve done a couple of jobs already this morning.”

Mr Hagan said most of his work involves removing snakes from people’s houses, or reptiles who are trying to eat beloved pets.

And, they’ve been found in some strange places.

“I caught one out of a woman’s handbag,” Mr Hagan said. 

“She was pretty unimpressed with that.

“I’ve retrieved them from children’s toy boxes.

“They also seem to like stuffed toys, particularly if it’s a dog’s chew toy, because it will have the scent of the dog on it.”

While some snakes are stunningly beautiful, like a blue phase common tree snake removed from a home in Gordonvale in December, others are enough to make you shed your skin.

The tale of the 14 year-old boy who woke to a real life nightmare, as a three-metre snake tried to gobble up his hand and arm is certainly in the latter category.

According to Matt Hagan, the two hotspot Cairns suburbs for finding snakes in homes are Smithfield and Caravonica.

“The edge of the rainforest in suburbia is generally a high level of activity.

“The good thing is 90% aren’t dangerously venomous, the bigger scrub pythons can be daunting, though."

One of the most common species he removes are brown tree snakes, which he said are often misidentified as eastern browns.

“The shape of the head is the best way to determine what they are.

“The eastern browns have a bullet-shaped head and the trees have a heart-shaped head.

“But most people don’t want to get that close to really get a proper look so it’s best to just call in a snake catcher.”