Venomous Snake Caught after Slithering near Kids and Pets in Backyards

A red-bellied black snake was found under a bin this week after spending multiple days moving between homeowners' backyards.

Stuart McKenzie, owner of relocation business Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7, said in a Facebook post on Thursday that residents of the Queensland suburb Sippy Downs needed it moved because it was lurking close to pets and children.

The reptile wrangler said he responded to the call after local residents were told to ring the next time the venomous snake made an appearance.

McKenzie explained in a caption alongside video footage of the encounter that he spent approximately 15 minutes searching around homes in the area for the stealthy snake before it was eventually discovered to be hiding under a wheeled garbage bin.

He wrote: "We advised [residents] to call us as soon as they saw it next, which they did. Rushing over to the Sippy Downs address, he was nowhere to be seen for 15 minutes but was once again on the move from house to house near pets and kids.

"Before leaving I jumped over next door where it had been sighted as well and to our luck found him under the garbage bins! Such a gorgeous snake, but definitely doesn't need to be there so it was relocated back into the bush out of harm's way."

The clip taken by the Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers team showed McKenzie lifting up the bin and grabbing the snake by the tail as it attempted to flee the area. The snake is seen being placed into a bag and safely relocated to some suitable bushland.

Red Belly moving between Sippy Downs backyards...These residents had seen a black snake coming in and out and moving between their backyards for a few...

While releasing the snake back into the wild, McKenzie explained the reptiles are often found under bins, either seeking shelter from weather or looking for prey.

He said: "Under your bin is that little gap. Snakes can sneak in under there. You have probably noticed when you move the bin to take it out frogs and toads or whatever run out. Snakes will shelter under there and try and get themselves a feed as well."

A species profile on the snake catcher's website notes that the red-bellied black snake is considered highly-venomous, but is typically shy unless threatened. "They have a fearsome reputation which is simply well overexaggerated," the page says.

A separate fact-sheet from the Australian Museum echoes that description, saying that the species is tied to a number of bites every year but generally only delivers a serious bite when put under severe distress, or if it is left without an escape route.

If bitten, its venom can result in bleeding at the bite site, nausea, vomiting, headache, abdominal pain, diarrhea, sweating, muscle pain, weakness, and red-brown urine.

Red-bellied Black Snake
A Red-bellied Black Snake showing its tongue. The species can be found across all of eastern Australia and one was recently found lurking under a person's bin before being safety relocated. Getty