Man was extremely lucky he didn't get bit by the Eastern brown snake.
A man in Australia thought he was holding a tree snake when in fact it was an Eastern brown snake (Pseudonaja textilis), a reptile that is responsible for more snakebite deaths than any other snake in the country, and when he sent a photo of him holding the snake to snake catcher Richie Gilbert of Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers, Gilbert posted the photo onto his Facebook page, telling his followers to leave the snake handling to the experts.
"I was sent this photo for identification. The guy holding it thought it was a tree snake. IT'S AN EASTERN BROWN!" Gilbert said on Facebook.
"This is the worst possible way to hold it and be bitten. My heart actually skipped a beat when I saw the photo. I told them to put it down straight away. . . I’m glad he did or we could have been hearing about this on the news tonight."
According to snake catcher Gilbert, the Eastern brown snake is known to bite at shadows and he is amazed that the guy who was holding the snake was not bitten.
The Eastern brown snake is considered the second most venomous snake in the world. The majority of snake bite deaths that occur in Australia are from this snake or its cousin, the western brown snake. The Eastern brown snake can be found throughout Australia and into New Guinea. The Eastern brown snake grows to about five feet in length and its venom produces hemotoxic and neurotoxic symptoms with immediate pain and swelling of the lymph nodes.
John Virata keeps a western hognose snake, a ball python, two corn snakes, a king snake, and two leopard geckos. His first snake, a California kingsnake, was purchased for $5. His first pet reptile was a green anole that arrived in a small box via mail order. Follow him on Twitter @johnvirata