Snake Catcher Videos Skin of Huge Python—But Can't Find Missing Snake

An Australian reptile catcher was left in awe this week after responding to a call and finding the skin of a huge carpet python—but no snake.

Stuart McKenzie, the owner of Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7, said in a video posted to Facebook on Wednesday that the constrictor still slithering around the Queensland town of Buderim could be up to 9.8 feet long.

"This is one of the biggest snake skins I have ever seen," he said in the cellphone clip, which showed the skin stretching from the roof of a home to the ground. It was almost double the height of the wrangler as he stood beside it for comparison.

"Obviously the skin is bigger than the actual snake, but this is from an absolute weapon of a carpet python. Boy, oh boy, do I hope that we find it," McKenzie added.

The shedding process, known as ecdysis, takes place when a snake outgrows its skin. It's not the snake's literal skin that is coming off, just a dead outer layer that needs to be removed so the reptile can continue to grow. Ecdysis occurs up to 12 times a year.

The carpet python is non-venomous and kills by coiling its large body around prey and suffocating it. The reptile mostly eats small mammals, birds and frogs.

The python is the largest snake found on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, according to a fact sheet on the snake catcher's website, "growing up to 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) in length and maybe reaching 4 meters (13.1 feet)." The average size of carpet pythons caught by the company is around 6.5 feet.

In the Facebook video, the catcher was seen hunting for the snake in the attic of the property, but the search proved unsuccessful.

McKenzie said he believed the skin had been shed as the snake left the attic and the python was likely back in bushland. He nicknamed the reptile the "Buderim Beast" and urged the public to report any sightings.

In an appeal on social media, the company wrote: "Give us a call if you see it! Wowzas! It's great to see that there are still some big snakes getting around!"

The video on Facebook had attracted more than 600 comments and shares at the time of writing, with many social media users shocked at the sheer size of the skin.

McKenzie recently helped a man who found a large python wrapped around a possum outside his home and a woman who encountered one on her dining table.

Coastal Carpet Python
Stock image of a coastal carpet python. An Australian reptile catcher was left in awe this week after finding the shed skin of a snake that could be 9.8 feet long. iStock