'Chunky' Venomous Snake Found Hiding in Garden Near Front Door

A "chunky," highly venomous snake has been found hiding in a garden, near the front door of a house, in an incident that demonstrates how difficult it can be to catch the reptiles.

Snake catcher Stuart McKenzie, who was called to remove and relocate the snake, said in a video posted on Facebook: "It's just amazing how such a big snake—like this snake's so thick and probably about four, five foot long—can just disappear."

The video was titled: "CHUNKY Red Belly Hidden In Garden Bed Near Front Door!"

The homeowner initially wasn't sure if the animal was a red-bellied black snake or an eastern brown. Both species are venomous, but the latter is responsible for more human fatalities than any other snake in Australia.

"I've just seen it. It is a big red belly, my goodness," McKenzie says when he first catches sight of it in the video.

"The big red belly's been cruising along behind this little bit of retaining wall timber."

The snake can initially be seen tucked inside one of the edges of a planter close to the house, but by the time McKenzie has cleared away some foliage and removed one of the planter's retaining walls, it has vanished.

The snake catcher then continues dismantling the container, before the distinctive glossy black body of the snake can be seen emerging from the back corner.

It initially tries to climb up one of the walls of the house, before frantically thrashing around on the ground and attempting to return to the planter.

McKenzie manages to get a hold of it by the tail and, as he displays it to the camera, it continues undulating. At one point it lunges at the snake catcher, who remains unfazed.

"He's a decent sized red belly, very healthy. You can see him putting up there, he's hissing a little bit. A little bit of carry on," McKenzie says.

"You can see that he's very movement-orientated... that's how venomous snakes are. You can see how quickly he can move. A very impressive snake."

Red-bellied black snakes tend to avoid humans, but will defend themselves when they're cornered or provoked.

Their venom can cause painful injuries including swelling, diarrhea, vomiting, prolonged bleeding and localized necrosis, but the Australian Museum says that many bite victims "experience only mild or negligible symptoms."

However, bites from red-bellied black snakes have also proved fatal in some cases, and should therefore be treated seriously and as quickly as possible.

Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers, the snake removal and relocation company that McKenzie works for, says it has received numerous recent calls about red-bellied black snakes "basking in the sun" in people's backyards.

A closeup of a red-bellied black snake
A stock image shows a red-bellied black snake, not related to the animal found in the garden. The species, which is venomous, takes its name from it distinctive red flanks. sjallenphotography/iStock