'Huge' Venomous Snake Found in Child's Toy Basket

A "huge" venomous snake has been found inside a child's toy basket, filled with dolls, in Australia.

Stuart McKenzie, with Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7, posted a video of the potentially dangerous find on Facebook.

The incident occurred at a home in Maroochydore, a coastal town in the state of Queensland, eastern Australia.

"When I arrived and saw this situation it actually sent a shiver down my spine," McKenzie wrote in the Facebook post.

"The two young daughters and their mom were playing in the girls room and went to take a few toys out of the toy basket when they uncovered a large fat red-bellied black snake hiding in there. Wow!"

Red-bellied black snakes, known scientifically as Pseudechis porphyriacus, are found across the eastern portion of Australia.

While the bite of red-belly can cause serious discomfort and potentially even require medical attention, the species is less venomous than many venomous other snakes in the country, according to Australian Geographic.

There is a perception that the snakes are a danger to humans, but red-bellies tend to be shy and will generally only deliver a serious bite if they are experiencing severe molestation, according to the Australian Museum.

Despite this, red-bellies are responsible for a number of bites every year, in part, because they are among the most frequently encountered snakes in the easternmost parts of Australia. In fact, they are often found in urban areas.

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The venom can result in bleeding and/or swelling at the bite site, nausea, vomiting, headache, abdominal pain, diarrhea, sweating, muscle pain and weakness, among other symptoms.

But many people bitten by a red-belly experience only mild or negligible symptoms, although a small number require hospitalization. Children and pets are at greater risk from bites due to their smaller size.

There have been no confirmed human deaths resulting from the bite of a red-belly in Australia, according to a factsheet provided by the state of Victoria.

McKenzie described the snake found at the home in Maroochydore as "stunning" and "gorgeous" in the video, as well as huge. The average adult size for this species is around 5-6.5 feet.

"Oh my goodness, look at the size of it. That is insane," he said. "It's so lucky that nobody was bitten. But just shows how shy red-bellies can be. Obviously, all this snake was wanting to do was hide underneath all the toys—it was a nice little spot for him to hide. And he didn't mean anybody any harm. Unless of course they accidentally grabbed him, that might have been a different story."

The snake catcher eventually released the red-belly in question back into the Australian bush, away from the home, commenting that it was a very healthy individual.

"It was so lucky that one of them didn't put their hand on the snake," McKenzie wrote on Facebook. "As you can see the red-belly was so chilled out and such a well behaved snake. I still cant believe this happened! There was a lot of construction going on nearby and I am sure the red-belly was simply looking for a safe place to shelter and hide."

A red-bellied black snake
Stock image showing a red-bellied black snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus.) A red-belly was found in a toy basket inside a home in Queensland, Australia. iStock