Joel Keady and his pet python. Joel is the son of local snake catcher John Keady; both are licensed snake catchers.
Joel Keady and his pet python. Joel is the son of local snake catcher John Keady; both are licensed snake catchers. Barry Leddicoat

Fangs for the memories

THEY’VE been coming out of the woodwork all year.

Not just the woodwork either. They’ve been slithering out of sheds, campervans and mulch piles.

Even a Landcruiser parked too long at the Muster site ended up festooned with a souvenir from a curious snake, who left its skin behind for Gympie’s Zoe Doyle to enjoy.

And with the rain and humid weather about, snakes are making their presence felt in the Gympie region and even stopping traffic. One motorist reported a large python taking its time to cross a country road on Christmas Eve, its body length taking up the full width of the tarmac, with a bit of snake left over.

But some of them aren’t as benign as the placid pythons.

In April last year, 12-year-old Jaiden Walker was bitten on the ankle by the world’s second deadliest snake at Tin Can Bay. She’d returned home from the local shop with an ice-cream and a tale about standing on a snake.

Little bite marks were discovered on Jaiden’s ankle and she was rushed by ambulance to Gympie Hospital where a test confirmed she had been bitten by a taipan.

Gympie’s snakes got moving early in the season too, with veteran snake catcher John Keady kept busy relocating unwanted visitors during an unusually mild August.

He reminded gardeners to be wary around mulch because the timid red-bellied black snakes liked to hide under it to keep warm.

John urged people to never attempt to catch, corner or kill a snake, as this is when 90 per cent of bites are inflicted.

Gympie region snake catchers:

  • John Keady – mobile 04040 76711 or (07) 5485 1353.
  • Natalie Costello – mobile 04482 08293 or (07) 5484 1290.
Gympie Times


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