ANIMALS

Helpless Snake Found In Pool Trying To Drown Myriad Of Paralyzing Ticks Stuck On It

Date January 14, 2019

Snakes may not be among our favorites in the animal kingdom, but they are not as bad as they seem.

Over time, a worldwide stigma has been placed on these species, thus leading to several of them becoming extinct.

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In recent times, their victimization has been worse due to the development of cities and urban areas which have led to more unfavorable encounters for them.

However, these reptiles act on their instinct of survival, like any other animal, and equally face as many hassles.

Tony Harrison is a local snake catcher from Gold Coast and Brisbane. He was contacted to help get a snake out of a resident's pool in Coolangatta, Gold Coast, when he came across the frightening sight.

Right in the pool was a carpet snake with an outrageous figure of over 500 reptile ticks all over its body, feeding on it.

It was apparent that the poor reptile had been trying to escape these parasites, and this was why it ended up in the pool – it was trying to drown them.

Tony took to his Facebook page to share his unexpected experience. He shared pictures of the embattled snake alongside a caption which read:

“And you thought one tick was bad? Look at this poor carpet python from Coolangatta. We aren't sure how many ticks are on him, but we will ask Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation if they can count them when they remove them.”

The veteran snake catcher added that never before, in his 26 years of catching snakes, had he ever seen such occurrence.

Fortunately, ‘Old Nike’, as he snake was named after being rescued, received treatment before it was too late.

From Tony's follow-up Facebook post, a total of 511 ticks were removed from him, and several others were still in unreachable areas. He will receive further treatment to kill the smaller ticks.

Also, it is believed he is suffering from an infection, which caused the ticks to overwhelm him.

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While speaking about the occurrence, University of Queensland Professor of Parasitology Stephen Barker disclosed that the ticks were known as reptile ticks.

He also said that ticks were normal to animals, but Old Nike’s case was unusually high, and so they wondered if he was sick or very old.

On the issue of drowning them, he said:

“It would take maybe 10 or 12 hours.”

He added that it would have been quite challenging.

Have you seen a snake suffer? What to do?

A large number of snakes that are encountered in residential areas are non-poisonous.

Still, a deadly view is given to all of them. However, these steps can be taken to avoid encounters that can lead to harm for the individual involved or the snake.

Non-poisonous snakes in buildings:

  1. Avoid frightening the snake, as this would only scare them into hiding;
  2. Ensure there's an opening to the outside nearby, then drive the snake outside safely;
  3. If you can't drive the snake away, trap it in a restricted area and contact a professional;
  4. Block all re-entry points;
  5. You may decide to contact your wildlife authorities so they remove it safely.

Non-poisonous snakes outside:

As long as the snake is not in residential areas, or anywhere that can lead to problems, you can simply avoid them.

Poisonous snakes:

  1. Avoid direct encounters with them;
  2. Remove kids or pets from the are, for they could be harmed;
  3. If possible, trap them in restricted areas, and contact a professional immediately.

Well, thanks to Tony and the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation, Old Nike will be okay. It's just a poor snake trying to stay alive, and so are millions of others like it.

However, this is not always the case, as their survival instinct can sometimes be harmful to humans. In such situations, knowing how to deal with them is all that matters.

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