A snake with a “head white as snow, and body black as night” pulled from an abandoned property this week turned out to be one the country’s most dangerous animals, prompting a Queensland snake catcher to issue a warning.
Tim Hudson, from Hudson Snake Catching on the Gold Coast, was called to the soon-to-be-demolished property after workers noticed the unusually-coloured reptile slither into a bedroom.
Hudson raced to the scene and found the snake hiding behind a tattered bed.
It was identified as an eastern brown snake, Australia’s second most venomous snake after the inland taipan.
Hudson said despite the name eastern brown snakes can come in a variety of colours.
This can easily lead to misidentification, as happened with the tradies at the old house.
“They actually thought it was a red-bellied black snake, but it was a black eastern brown,” Hudson told 9news.com.au.
“Eastern browns come in a whole variety of different colours from gunmetal, grey terracotta orange tan brown cream, brown black and fully banded specimens.
“We see members of the public day in and day out misidentifying them.”
Hudson added “there are a lot of ways” an eastern brown can be identified, but said “that should be left to professionals”.
Eastern browns are believed to be Australia’s deadliest snake – responsible for the most fatalities.
The snake was safety returned to the wild.
The capture comes as snake season, which typically runs from September to April, draws to a close.