THIS 2-metre-long red belly black had snake catcher Geoff Delooze rethinking his life decisions yesterday.
The ‘‘abnormally large’’ and ‘‘heavy as’’ snake, which according to Mr Delooze weighed about 10 kilograms, was found hiding under an airconditioning unit at an engineering firm in Cameron Park.
Mr Delooze got the call to pick the snake up, and couldn’t believe his eyes when he caught sight of the ‘‘ferocious eater’’. ‘‘I have to admit, it had me looking back at these people thinking ‘what the hell is this, my call out fee isn’t big enough for this’,’’ he said.
‘‘I’ve been doing this for a few years now and that’s easily the biggest red belly I’ve ever come across.’’
Paul Austin, a manager at WDS Engineering where the snake was found, said the major occupational health and safety breach had ‘‘left a few people rattled’’. ‘‘But that’s Australia I guess, it’s what we have to deal with’’.
The business backs onto bush and Mr Delooze believes the snake would have been disturbed by nearby road work.
‘‘This was a real old snake, at least 15 years old, it wouldn’t have had much to do with humans before yesterday,’’ he said.
He said red belly blacks were the most common snake he captured, and the second most dangerous, but they usually only reach about 1metres.
‘‘They normally don’t get to that [bigger] size because they either run into the end of a shovel or are the victim of road rage,’’ he said.
With the hotter months approaching Mr Delooze also had some bad news for those who’d prefer to read about snakes than see them.
‘‘It has been that dry up around the Hunter Valley, it’s going to be like one of those snake seasons from the old days. They love the heat and they love suburbia, it’s got everything they need.’’
Newcastle and Hunter Animal Control 0478043715