Venomous Snake Lunges at Snake Catcher in Nail-Biting Video

A snake catcher in Australia almost got a nasty surprise when he was called to the backyard of a home in North Lakes, Queensland, to capture a venomous red-bellied black snake.

Joshua Castle found the snake—from a species described by the Australian Museum as "a beautiful serpent that shares our love of sunshine and water"—lurking under a perimeter fence.

But as he was attempting to secure the angry reptile, it whipped around and tried to bite him.

Castle, who runs Josh's Snake Catching in Brisbane, uploaded a video documenting the encounter to Facebook on December 31.

He wrote: "We received a call out to Northlakes a few months back, for a red belly black snake that has been hanging around for a fair while, thankfully when we arrived the customers still had eyes on him.

"He got fairly close to my hand at one point!"

According to the Australian Museum, if Castle had been bitten during the encounter in August, he could have experienced a range of unpleasant symptoms. These include bleeding and/or swelling at the location of the bite, nausea, vomiting, headache, abdominal pain, diarrhea, sweating, muscle pain and even red-brown-colored urine.

The museum adds that, despite the red-bellied black snake's fearsome appearance, it is a "shy snake" that will only deliver a serious bite when experiencing "severe molestation."

The species is one of the most commonly encountered snakes on Australia's east coast and will usually freeze to avoid detection by humans, according to the museum. If a person continues to approach the snake, it will attempt to flee toward the nearest retreat.

The museum explains that if the best hiding spot is located behind the approaching human, this can give the impression that the snake is attacking rather than fleeing.

"If unable to escape the snake will rear up with its head and forebody held off but parallel to the ground, spread its neck and hiss loudly, and may even make mock strikes with a closed mouth," the Australian Museum says. Some individuals will lay low and slowly undulate their tail—possibly in an attempt to draw attention away from their vulnerable heads.

The Australian Museum adds: "Further harassment will cause the snake to lash out and deliver a rapid—but often clumsy—bite, and sometimes they may hang on and chew savagely."

The red-bellied snake is responsible for many bites on humans, but few result in fatalities. Many victims of this species will experience just mild symptoms, though a few require hospitalization.

According to the Australian Museum, because people can react differently to the venom of a red-bellied snake, any bite should be treated as serious and the bite victim should seek immediate medical attention.

Red Bellied Black Snake
Stock image of a red-bellied black snake. A snake catcher in Australia got a nasty surprise when he tried to capture one in Queensland. gorgar64/Getty