Venomous Snake Found Inside Family Couch: 'Don't Take Your Eyes off It'

After a long day out, a family in Queensland, Australia, returned home to find a venomous visitor sprawled out on their living room couch.

When the eastern brown snake saw the family, it slithered underneath a reclining couch, where it stayed until it was removed by snake catcher Ozzie (Glenn) Lawrence, of OzCapture Snake Relocations, on Sunday evening.

"I couldn't find it [at first]," Lawrence told Newsweek. "I had to search through the loungeroom. They knew it had gone underneath the couches, and I found it behind a leather flap at the back of the twin couch in the middle."

Eastern brown snake inside couch
Photo of the eastern brown snake inside the reclining couch. The snake had slithered behind a leather flap at the back of the couch. OzCapture Snake Relocations/Facebook

The snake had wound itself around the fixings inside the mechanical recliner couch, concealed behind a Velcro leather covering. Holding the cover flap in one hand, Lawrence waited for the snake to turn around before grabbing it by the tail.

"All things considered it was actually quite calm and cool," he said. "It wasn't a very hot day, so his batteries weren't full so to speak, so he wasn't striking and biting."

The snake was roughly 4.5 feet long, which is about average for an eastern brown snake, according to the Australian Museum.

Eastern brown snakes are found throughout eastern and southern Australia and are responsible for more snakebite fatalities than any other species in the country. They are considered to have the second-most toxic venom in the world. They tend to shy away from humans, can be very defensive and will often bite if they feel threatened.

Their natural habitat also overlaps with some of the most populated areas in Australia, so it is not uncommon to find them in people's homes.

"There are so many different ways that a snake can potentially get into your home," Lawrence said. "It's just their natural behavior and curiosity, looking for food.

Eastern brown snake removed from family couch
Photos of Ozzie Lawrence removing the venomous eastern brown snake from inside the family's couch. OzCapture Snake Relocations/Facebook

"They can come out from behind air conditioning units; they can come out from underneath kitchen sinks; people have holes in their fly screens and windows left open; they can come in through doggy and cat doors."

Should you ever find a snake in your house, Lawrence said that the best thing to do is stay completely still and do not let it out of your sight. "Don't take your eyes off it until a snake catcher gets there," he said. "If you want to take a photo, do so but don't get close to the snake—zoom in instead and send that picture to your local snake catcher so they can tell you whether it's venomous."

You should not attempt to remove a venomous snake yourself. "Venomous snakes shouldn't be trifled with—they shouldn't be handled or grabbed or brushed with a broom to try and push them out the house because you can hurt them and that makes them agitated."

If you are unlucky enough to receive a bite from a venomous snake, Lawrence said that you should apply a compression bandage and seek medical assistance immediately.