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Huge scrub python found in Cannon Valley chicken coop

Measuring the 4.6 metre python caught at a Cannon Valley residence last week.
Measuring the 4.6 metre python caught at a Cannon Valley residence last week. David Barwell

A 4.6 metre scrub python weighing 27 kilograms was caught last week after being found in a chicken coop at a Cannon Valley residence.

Local snake handler Neil Cutten said in his over 10 years of experience it was the biggest snake he'd ever caught.

"He'd eaten one chicken and the other chicken was looking very shaky in the corner when we got there.”

Another Whitsunday snake handler Kylee Gray helped Mr Cutten capture and relocate the snake into bushland near Brandy Creek.

"Once they get to a certain size you are required to have two snake handlers,” Mr Cutten said.

"In the Whitsundays there are four snake handlers and depending on where and when you need help depends on which of us will get there.”

Head of a 4.6 metre scrub python caught in Cannon Valley last week.
Head of a 4.6 metre scrub python caught in Cannon Valley last week. David Barwell

Snake handlers need to do a course, hold a current first aid certificate, have all their own equipment and apply for licenses and permits.

"Nine out of 10 times snakes are only moving through but occasionally some of them like pythons might hole up a while and need a snake catcher,” Mr Cutten said.

"I love snakes but I have a healthy respect for them because they are all capable of defending themselves.

"If you find a snake, leave it alone and if it needs to be removed call a snake catches - if it doesn't need to be removed then best to give them a wide berth.

"They won't attack you just for the sake of it but biting is the only way they have to defend themselves.

"Catching snakes should be left to experienced people, otherwise it could go wrong with dire consequences and even though not all are venomous they can still give you a nasty wound.”

Local snake handlers with a 4.6 metre python caught in Cannon Valley last week.
Local snake handlers with a 4.6 metre python caught in Cannon Valley last week. David Barwell

According to Neil Cutten if you get bitten by a snake the best thing to do is bandage the area with a compression bandage from the bite up the limb to a bone area and seek medical treatment.

"It helps if you mark where the bite is on the outside of the bandage with a marker because sometimes some venom escapes the bite and ends up on the bandage,” he said.

"The hospital can cut that section of bandage and test it to find out what sort of venom it was.”

Kylee Gray holding a huge 4.6 metre python weighing 27 kilograms.
Kylee Gray holding a huge 4.6 metre python weighing 27 kilograms. David Barwell

In the Whitsunday area there are known to be brown snakes, black snakes, Taipans and pythons.

If you find a snake which needs removing in the region contact Mr Cutten on 0429 425 773, or message the Snakes of the Whitsundays Facebook page.

Topics:  neil cutten scrub python whitsunday

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