Carpet Python Strikes After Eating a Hen in Queensland

A snake catcher was called upon to remove a carpet python after it had eaten a hen from a chicken coop in Diddillibah, Queensland, on April 21.

Footage posted by Stuart McKenzie of Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7 shows the large snake lunge at both McKenzie and the video recorder as they were trying to move the reptile.

“When a snake like a carpet python has a big food item in their belly, this slows them down dramatically and makes them quickly defensive if they feel threatened,” McKenzie wrote in the video caption on Facebook. Credit: Stuart McKenzie via Storyful

Video transcript

STUART MCKENZIE: Here I was looking at the weather, thinking that Thursday was going to be a slow day. It's probably the busiest start to a morning we've had in a couple of weeks. So the phone's been ringing flat [? chats ?] since, well, 2:30 this morning. Thanks to Heather for going out to that one.

But yeah, this time we've got a chicken coop-- a chicken coop-- a snake in a chicken coop. And the snake has eaten one of the big hens. So it's not going anywhere, but we're going to go get it out of there. And just another reminder to everybody to make sure your chicken coops are snake-proof, because it's an easy feed for a big python, that's for sure.

No, that's [? all right. ?]

- I've just got to-- I've got to keep the other chickens--

STUART MCKENZIE: Away from it?

- Away from it.

STUART MCKENZIE: All right, I see the tail end.

- The poor little thing. I feel sorry for the little hen.

STUART MCKENZIE: Yeah, so as you can see, I've got a medium-sized carpet python. And the food, the food item's pretty obvious just down here. Just a little hen, apparently quite an old hen. But just a reminder again, guys, you can see snakes are one of the best and trickiest animals at squeezing into tight spaces. And--

--here. So it's not rodent issues, as such, but it's more probably the smell of the chook. And all it takes is for a snake to be passing within, you know, 10, 20 meters, maybe even further than that, and they'll pick up the scent. And they're like, ooh, there's--

- [INAUDIBLE] to be very [? hot ?] even.

STUART MCKENZIE: I'll relocate him now. Oh!


STUART MCKENZIE: That's all right. They can be-- no, you're all right, bud. You can see that they can be a little bit grumpy sometimes when-- when they've got a food item, but--

All right, so as you can see, a little bit defensive, so we won't bother him-- oh! Won't bother him too much. My goodness. In there, buddy.

- You've got my little hen in there, too. You should be satisfied.

STUART MCKENZIE: Sometimes, yeah, they can get a little bit defensive when they've got a food item in their belly. He's come straight back out of the bag here. You're all right. In you go.

He's going to try and support that food item. Excellent. All good. We'll go relocate him away from here so he doesn't come back.

- Yeah, right.

STUART MCKENZIE: As you could see, the snake was slightly defensive, which is often the case around chicken coops, and the smell of food, or if they've just had a feed. So I'm just going to gently encourage the snakey out of the bag without picking it up, if it can find its way. Come on, I've opened the bag for you. There you go.

As you can see, all he wants is just the shelter of the bag. So here you go. Oh, there's your new environment. You're gonna push through there, see if you can get your fat belly through.

What this snake will do now is go find a nice sunny spot. There's a few little sunny spots through these trees in this bushland, and he'll be able to warm up and digest its food. Excellent.

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