Growing up in Northern California, I encountered quite a few snakes as a kid, but there was only one poisonous snake I ever had to worry about: rattlesnakes.
Rattlesnakes have a distinct look and are easy to identify, and despite spending countless hours hiking and camping in the woods, I only ever stumbled upon one rattlesnake. All of the other snakes I encountered were harmless garter snakes, which I’d sometimes catch to admire their pretty stripes or simply get a closer look at.
My siblings and I could pick up garter snakes and have them slither through our hands without worrying about being bit since garter snakes are harmless. But we all knew that if went somewhere new or didn’t recognize a snake, to stay far away from it. Growing up in the U.S., we were hyper-aware that we had it lucky when it came to poisonous critters – nothing like in Australia!
Australia is home to countless poisonous snakes and spiders and many kids are taught from a young age to leave the wildlife alone. However, it seems that not everyone got that memo and one 11-year-old girl put herself in a precarious situation when she casually picked up one of the world’s most deadly snakes.
Apparently, an 11-year-old picked a snake up while out for a walk with her grandparent and took a video of it. The grandparent then sent it to Stewy the Snake Catcher for an ID. The company wrote:
“This is an extremely dangerous eastern brown snake. The girl in the video is extremely lucky that she wasn’t bitten by the snake and her parents should probably go and buy a lottery ticket.
This situation is very dangerous. Eastern brown snakes are a nervous snake, and are responsible for the most deaths caused by snake bites in Australia. Education is the key to making sure these situations never happen. Please please please, remind your children and grandchildren that you shouldn’t interfere and interact with any wildlife unless you are trained to do so. This little girl could have actually died from a bite from this snake.”
The post added that proper education about different snake types and wildlife, in general, could be life-saving. They wrote, “In the video, the girl calls the snake a getter snake, which is a non venomous snake from overseas. They look slightly similar, and no doubt that information would have been found on social media, like YouTube or TikTok. (My kids watch all sorts of stuff on these platforms and are always relating information about American snakes and so on). Anyway, we need to teach our kids right from wrong, and handling any wildlife is dangerous and should be left to the professionals.”
Stewy the Snake Catcher concluded the post saying that it can be “not only ILLEGAL, but also extremely DANGEROUS to interact and interfere with any wildlife unless you are trained and licensed to do so. Snakes are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975, and must not be killed.”