Man hospitalized after stepping on ‘mysterious’ deadly snake in his own home

A man has been hospitalized after stepping on a highly venomous snake at his own home in Australia.

Before going to the hospital, the man caught the snake in a jar so he could show his doctors what bit him.

Snake catcher Drew Godfrey was then called to the scene in Hervey Bay, Queensland to remove the deadly reptile.

Eastern small eye snake
Photo of the Eastern Smalleye Snake after being caught. The snakes are small but deadly and an Australian homeowner has been hospitalized after an incident with a specimen.
Drew Godfrey/Hervey Bay Serpent Catcher

Eastern smalleyes can grow to nearly 40 inches in length, although the Australian Museum estimates their average length at around 20 inches. Their venom is a potent myotoxin that attacks muscle tissue, including the heart muscle, for days after poisoning, the injection of the venom.

“We were told on the phone that this was a red-bellied black teenage boy,” Godfrey said in a Facebook post. “As we were late at night our suspicion was that it wasn’t a small red belly but a smaller and much more venomous species, the eastern small-eyed snake. Upon our arrival, our suspicions were confirmed.”

said Godfrey news week that the man appeared to be in fairly “good spirits” given the circumstances.

The snake was only 11 to 16 inches long, but its bite can be deadly if left untreated. “[Eastern small eyes] are fairly common, but are very small, secretive, and nocturnal so rarely seen,” Godfrey said. “They are highly toxic, but toxicity is believed to vary between populations.”

The eastern small-eyed snake is found along the east coast of Australia, from Cape York to Melbourne. Their deep pink belly coupled with their glossy blue-black body often leads them to be mistaken for juvenile red-bellied black snakes, one of the most commonly encountered snakes on Australia’s east coast.

Eastern little eye caught in the hospital
Photo of Godfrey removing the snake from the jar in the hospital. The reptile attacked a homeowner in Queensland, Australia, and the man had to be hospitalized.
Drew Godfrey/Hervey Bay Serpent Catcher

When disturbed, the snakes have been known to lash out aggressively to ward off threats, but bites are very rare. “Although highly venomous, eastern small-eyed snakes are very gentle and peaceful animals that are reluctant to bite,” Godfrey said. “Bites of this type are rare and only occur when someone is bothering them [the snake] or it hurts

“Because the man would have stepped on it, that would have hurt the snake. So the snake bit him in self-defense. If he’d missed instead, she wouldn’t have bitten, but coughed up. Snakes do not attack humans. They are defensive, not aggressive. Just because an animal is poisonous doesn’t mean it’s evil!”

If you are ever bitten by a snake, timely treatment can be life-saving. “Thank God [the man has] I did the right thing and went to the hospital,” Godfrey said. “It’s actually hard to die from snake bites these days with the right first aid and medical attention, so hopefully old pal should be fine.”

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Rick Schindler

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