Venomous Snake Found in Day Care Center Locker: 'In Shock'

Everyone loves nap time, and that appears to include snakes.

Snake catcher Tim Hudson was called Tuesday morning to a day care center in the eastern Australian coastal city of Gold Coast, in Queensland, to remove a venomous snake that had fallen asleep in a classroom locker.

"[The] kids just finished nap time and a teacher went to move a backpack on the bottom locker and noticed a [red-bellied] black snake curled up there," Hudson, of Hudson Snake Catching, told Newsweek.

"They were in shock so immediately called a local based snake catcher—aka us—and isolated it in the room and sealed the bottom of every door with a rolled-up towel."

Snake in day care center
Photos of the red-bellied black snake that was found behind a backpack in a locker at a day care center in Queensland. Tim Hudson / Hudson Snake Catching - Gold Coast Snake Catcher/Facebook

Red-bellied black snakes are found along the east coast of Australia and are recognizable by their black shiny bodies and distinctive red underbelly, from which they derive their name. The species can grow to around 5 to 6.5 feet on average and is usually found in moist habitats, like swamps and streams, according to the Australian Museum.

The snake carries a potent venom that attacks the blood and muscles. However, there have been no confirmed human deaths from red-bellied black snake bites in recent history in Australia, according to a document provided by the Victoria state government, and the shy species tends to avoid aggressive encounters.

Although rarely fatal, bites from this species can still inflict serious damage. For example, a 38-year-old zoologist had to lose his fingertip after receiving a nasty bite from one of these snakes in 2018. Bites should therefore be treated with immediate medical attention.

Luckily, the staff at the day care center responded quickly to the situation and no one was hurt. Hudson removed the snake from the classroom using a snake hook and released it into nearby bushland, away from people and property.

"[The] staff acted in a fantastic way," Hudson said. "They quickly rung us and sealed the bottom of every door with rolled-up towels and kept an eye on the fatty through the window. A perfect response to the situation."

Hudson shared the incident in a post on Facebook to a shocked reception.

"Omg lucky it was found before the kids tried to play with it," said one user.

If you ever see a snake on your property, Hudson said it is important not to corner, attack or harass it. If possible, trap the snake in the room behind a closed door, jam a towel underneath, and call a professional.

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