Snake Catcher Rushes to Scene After Woman Bitten by Eastern Brown Snake

A snake catcher showed up and saved the day in Buderim, Queensland, after a “dangerously venomous” eastern brown snake bit a woman.

Stuart McKenzie from Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7 said he was called to a home on May 24 where a woman was bitten on the thumb while grabbing a snake “out of her dog’s mouth and putting it into a jar.”

“As soon as they mentioned to me over the phone that someone had been bitten I told them to call an ambulance,” McKenzie said, offering extra advice to “put a pressure bandage on the bitten limb and keep the patient calm.”

McKenzie said an ambulance was already there when he arrived and brought the woman to hospital.

“Thankfully she was all good and released this morning,” McKenzie noted, referring to an overnight stay.

McKenzie included a list of advice in the Facebook video caption, warning that how you react in a situation like this “may be the difference between life and potential death.”

“Please be careful and safe around snakes,” he advised.

Eastern brown snakes have caused more deaths from their bites than any other species in Australia, according to The Australian Museum. Credit: Stuart McKenzie via Storyful

Video transcript

STUART MCKENZIE: We've just received a pretty frantic call. The guy-- his daughter's been bitten by a snake. You know, I told him immediately just to do snake bite first aid, but we're waiting on a photo.

They're going to send through straight away, but I've told them already to put a bandage on, call an ambulance if there's any doubt. Based on their description, it didn't sound like a tree snake. They thought it was a tree snake. They said brown with black bands and 30 centimeters long, which, to me, sounds like a baby brown snake. So hopefully, this photo will come through A-S-A-P.

[PHONE RING]

- Yeah, mate?

STUART MCKENZIE: Hey, mate. Have you sent the photo?

- Yeah, I did. Did you not get it?

STUART MCKENZIE: No, it hasn't come through. Did you send it via te--

- Oh, OK.

STUART MCKENZIE: --via text?

- Yeah.

STUART MCKENZIE: Is-- so where have you-- have you put a bandage on-- on the limb?

- On her-- on her arm, yeah.

STUART MCKENZIE: Yeah, perfect. And she's sitting down?

- Yep, and we're calling the ambulance as well.

STUART MCKENZIE: Perfect. Fine from here. Oh yeah, yeah. It's 100% an Eastern Brown snake.

- OK. All right. I'll give you my address.

STUART MCKENZIE: Yep. That's hectic. Yeah, so I've just had a photo come in of a snake that I believe their pet had in their mouth. And the person involved who's been bitten has actually gone in, I guess, to try and separate the snake and the pet.

We definitely don't recommend doing that if the snakes are already in the pet's mouth. There's not much else you can do. She try to separate the-- the dog from the snake and then grab the snake, and the snakes hit her on the thumb.

And it is an Eastern Brown snake, so very, very serious situation. We're only 10 minutes away to go pick up the snake, and hopefully, the ambulance is less than that. But I'm going to get my call back as well just regarding their dog just because it'll need to go to the vet.

- Where's the patient? This is the snake catcher.

STUART MCKENZIE: Hey, guys. How are you?

- All right. The snakes behind you in this--

- I think that was in sarcasm. We we're going anywhere near. We're both scared of snakes.

STUART MCKENZIE: Here we are. You see if it's-- actually-- see just here?

- Might have a puncture wound.

STUART MCKENZIE: Yeah. Yeah, we'll get it to the Wildlife Hospital. Don't get too close, yeah.

- Oh yeah. There is a risk of-- with injuries.

STUART MCKENZIE: Yeah. But you can keep me updated, too--

- Yeah. I'll let you know how she goes.

STUART MCKENZIE: --on how she's going. All right, guys. I just want to do a quick summary of that. So obviously, the lady's been bitten. It was probably 10, 15 minutes until the bandage went on.

So just a reminder, if you ever bitten by a snake, and if there's any doubt that you don't know what it is, and probably to be better to be safe than sorry, just put a bandage on straight away, and call an ambulance.

So the ambulance obviously were there. They've arrived. They're going to take her to the hospital now and do all the appropriate tests. She'll probably spend the next 12 hours to a day in hospital making sure that she's OK. Just a quick thing on the actual situation, the dog had the snake in its mouth.

You know, if a dog has got a-- or a cat's got a snake in its mouth, there's no point you're going in and grabbing it off her, which she did. So we all love our pets, but it's just you got to be so careful when it comes with dogs and snakes and actually handling snakes yourself. So take a few of things out of these, guys, and just be safe out there when it comes to snakes.

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