Child Finds Massive Venomous Snake Hiding in School Backpack

A child in Australia had a nasty surprise when they found a massive venomous snake hiding inside their school backpack.

Snake catcher Gianni Hodgson visited the school in Victoria state on Tuesday after receiving a call about the venomous stowaway.

When he arrived, Hodgson carefully removed the snake from the bag and stored it away for transportation to another location.

In a Facebook post, which showed the enormous reptile, Hodgson said: "This red bellied black snake was found in a student's backpack at a school in Stawell this afternoon.

"Not sure if a resident or if he hitched a ride...for privacy reasons we can't name the school but no need to panic. Everyone is safe."

While the red-bellied black snake is venomous and can cause significant illness from its bite, no deaths have been recorded.

It is among the most commonly encountered snakes in eastern Australia and can grow up to 2.5 meters (8 feet), although the average length is 1.5 meters.

Hodgson told Newsweek while he has found snakes in all sorts of locations that this encounter was one of the most unusual.

He added: "This probably takes the cake. But I have found them in roofs. One was stuck down a mine shaft in Creswick so [I] needed to get a really long ladder to get down and get it."

The snake catcher also offered advice to residents and travelers to Australia to keep them safe from any unexpected encounters with the reptiles.

Hodgson said: "Keep your garden safe, if you can see you are safe. The only danger is accidentally coming in contact due to no visibility or intentionally getting involved with the snake, i.e. trying to catch or kill the snake."

On his website, Hodgson's Snakes Rescue and Removal, people are advised to do the following if they see a snake:

  • Never approach a snake or try and scare it off as it could provoke the snake to defend itself.
  • Call a professional if a snake is found in a yard, house, workplace, or near children or animals and follow their instructions to stay safe.
  • Have someone watch the snake from a safe distance as it could be hard to find them again if they escape from view.
  • If you are bitten by a snake, do not move as venom flows through the lymphatic system and it can be pushed further through your system with movement.
  • Call for help, in Australia the emergency number is 000 and will go through on any network to get the call through.
  • Do not worry about trying to identify the snake as one anti-venom is used to treat all Australian native snake bites.
  • Apply a compression bandage to the affected area if you have one, remove jewelry if bitten on the hand as it can cause swelling.
  • If you do not have a compression bandage, do not be concerned, follow the advice from 000.

A government report released in March, this year, found venomous snakes were responsible for 606 cases of hospitalizations due to bites between 2017 and 2018.

Of those, brown snakes accounted for 215 cases, then black snakes with 83 and tiger snakes with 65.

But, of the 3,500 Australians who were hospitalized the majority were caused by bees and wasps.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare spokesperson Professor James Harrison said in the study: "The majority of hospitalizations for bee stings were due to allergic reactions, with bees and wasps responsible for 12 of the 19 deaths related to venomous bites and stings in 2017–18."

Gianni Hodgson pcitured removing the snake
Gianni Hodgson pcitured removing the snake in Victoria, Australia. Gianni Hodgson