A Victorian school student has received an unpleasant surprise after finding an unwelcome guest hiding inside their school bag.
An unsuspecting Victorian school student has received a major fright after opening their school bag to find a dangerous stowaway.
A snake catcher was called to a school in the town of Stawell, in Victoria’s Wimmera region, yesterday after a student found a huge red bellied black snake hiding inside their backpack.
Thankfully a catcher from Hodgsons Snakes was able to safely remove and relocate the reptile.
The business uploaded photos of the catcher holding the huge snake to its Facebook page.
“This red bellied black snake was found in a student’s backpack at a school in Stawell this afternoon,” they wrote.
“Not sure if a resident or if he hitched a ride … For privacy reasons we can’t name the school but no need to pannick (sic). Everyone is safe.”
The red-bellied black snake can cause significant illness with its venom, but no deaths have been linked to its bite.
The post received hundreds of comments and shares, with commenters shocked at the terrifying discovery.
“OMG wouldn’t want that to come home,” one person wrote.
“Thought he was camouflaged, what a shock when you went to get your lunch,” another said.
Other commenters said it was a good reminder for children to always zip up their bags when they are not using them.
One person also suggested parents and teachers should be reminding kids to carefully check their bags.
“Hope kid who owns bag is OK and parents please teach kids to carefully check their bags, if their bags feel heavy get adult to check,” they said.
Now that the weather is warming up across Australia, experts have warned there will likely be an increase in the number of snake sightings in different parts of the country.
The Australian Reptile Park said last month that the warmer weather meant it was the perfect time for snakes to begin emerging from hibernation.
About 3000 Australians will be bitten by a snake each year, with about 300 of those needing anti-venom – a medicine given to treat snake bites.
Reptile keeper Jake Meney is urging Australians to brush up on their snake bite first aid skills.
“Snake bites mostly occur when people are trying to catch or kill the snake, so if you don’t do either of those things you should be OK,” he said.
“However, it is important to know the correct first aid technique so if the worst-case scenario occurs you are prepared.”
He said if a person was bitten by a snake they should remain calm, remove all jewellery and apply pressure to the bite site before bandaging the entire limb.
This will give a person more time to get to a hospital.
Experts say the warmer weather could also encourage snakes to venture in backyards. Mowing the lawn regularly and removing piles of wood or leaves could help deter them.