Deadly Snake Launches Itself off Two-Story Balcony To Flee Reptile Catcher

A highly-venomous snake launched itself off a two-story balcony while fleeing from a reptile catcher in Australia this week.

Stuart McKenzie, owner of Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7, shared an image of the deadly eastern brown on his Facebook page on Tuesday, saying the homeowners who spotted the species on their balcony thought it was a harmless tree snake.

A wrangler called Matt who attended the call out quickly realized it was in fact one of the most venomous snakes in the world, McKenzie revealed in a caption.

The catchers said the snake had likely climbed up a large pandanus tree that was next to the balcony but quickly decided to leave the area after being approached.

McKenzie said: "As soon as the snake saw Matt come out onto the balcony it decided to launch itself off the two-story balcony and onto the ground.

"It just [shows] that snakes including brown snakes are NOT aggressive but in fact want nothing to do with humans and will go to drastic measures to get away from us."

The reptile relocation business owner said the case also demonstrated that some of the highly venomous snakes living in the country are actually "very capable climbers." After slithering from the balcony, the eastern brown "disappeared back into the bush."

The behavior echoes a description of the species published by the Australian Museum, which said that despite causing more deaths from a bite than any other species of snake in Australia, the browns have been documented as avoiding conflict.

It said: "This species is probably encountered more than any other type of snake. Being a... nervous species they often react defensively if surprised or cornered, putting on a fierce display and striking with little hesitation. However, if approached over a distance, they will usually choose to flee or else remain stationary, hoping to avoid detection."

If bitten, its venom, which contains powerful presynaptic neurotoxins and nephrotoxins, can cause "progressive paralysis and uncontrollable bleeding" in humans.

The average length of the eastern brown is around five feet, and the species is recorded as being the second most toxic land snake in the entire world.

The Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7 site says eastern browns are "not regarded as a climbing species but may occasionally climb in search of potential prey."

In a Facebook post this week, on March 1, McKenzie detailed an encounter with a baby brown snake that had been found lurking under a woman's bathroom scales. "Certainly not the surprise you need when you walk into your ensuite bathroom," he wrote.

Eastern Brown on Balcony
A photo of the eastern brown snake published to Facebook by Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7. Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7/Facebook