Scrub python at Trinity Beach gobbles up teddy bear
A TRINITY BEACH scrub python bit off more than it could swallow, quite literally, after regurgitating a well-loved soft toy.
Matt Hagan, from Cairns Snake Catchers, said he was called to a home on the Northern Beaches yesterday after a resident noticed a commotion coming from a backyard pool house.
On investigation Mr Hagan found a three-metre snake coiled next to a rather mangy and wet teddy bear.
Missing an eye, the bear appeared a little worse for wear, which Mr Hagan suspected was a condition that pre-existed the fauna's faux pas.
A suspicion confirmed by Trinity Beach resident who called the snake catcher to remove the unwanted pool house visitor.
Rick Van Der Spek said the teddy belonged to his neighbour's child but had more recently been adopted by the neighbour's dog.
The teddy was ingested before slithering over the fence to take refuge in the pool house.
"I though oh my god where did that teddy bear come from," he said.
"I was quite shocked, but I suspected it was from the snake who was recovering after bringing it up."
Mr Hagan said snakes did make mistakes when identifying a meal and thought a scent of potential prey on the teddy triggered an almost automated response by the snake.
"Pythons are renowned for swallowing strange prey items ranging from barbecue tongs to electric blankets or even the curtains," he said.
Scrub pythons, also known as amethystine pythons, are one species which has adapted well to life in the suburbs of Cairns and make up a large proportion of Cairns Snake Catchers' call outs, Mr Hagan said.
In July this year a scrub python underwent surgery after mistakenly ingesting a children's stuffed rabbit.
When asked if he noticed evidence of an incision on the snake's stomach, Mr Hagan said there he did not think it's the same animal.
"I think it highly unlikely we have a serial teddy bear-swallowing snake," he said.