Two Huge Red-Bellied Black Snakes Filmed Fighting in Family's Backyard

Snake catchers have broken up a fight between two huge male red-bellied black snakes in a family's backyard.

Stuart McKenzie, the owner of Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7, arrived at the property in Woombye, Queensland, Australia, to discover battling snakes that he described as "two of the biggest red-bellies I've ever seen." When McKenzie arrived at the family's home the snakes were still fighting.

The snake catcher estimated that one of the snakes was five feet long, with the other being nearly as big. McKenzie was able to capture video of the battle and subsequent rescue which was uploaded to the company's Facebook page.

In the video, McKenzie described how the tussle between the snakes proceeded, before acting quickly to prevent either of the red-bellied black snakes from escaping into the undergrowth.

He said: "You can see they are not happy with each other. They are hissing with mouths open, trying to dominate by pushing the other's head down and rolling over."

The snake catcher said he believed the fight between the two males had broken out because there was a female red-bellied black snake somewhere nearby.

McKenzie then moved in, swiftly catching one snake by the tail placing it in a bag and then grabbing the other as it tried to escape. The snake catcher says the animals were then safely released into the bush.

Red-bellied black snakes are indigenous to Australia and the most commonly encountered snakes in the country's eastern region. While they are venomous the Australian Museum says there is yet to be a confirmed human fatality reported that was the result of the bite of a red-bellied black snake, though the venom can cause severe illness.

This could be because, as McKenzie's video demonstrates, members of this species of snake tend to retreat when they encounter a human. In fact, dogs seem to be the most common victims of red-bellied snake bites.

The snakes generally engage in ritual combat in spring, which lasts from September to November in Australia.

The snakes grow to an average size of around 4 feet, which means that the pair of males encountered by McKenzie was on the larger side for such an animal. Yet, both were smaller than the largest red-bellied black snake ever recorded.

In 2019, Reuters reported that Brisbane snake catcher Bryce Lockett had caught a 6ft-long red-bellied black snake. He named the animal "Chonk."

Red Bellied Black Snake
A stock image of a red-bellied black snake. An Australian snake catcher broke up a squabble over mating rights between two snakes in a family's backyard. gorgar64/Getty