13 June 2009

Snake in Melbourne CBD in June

"Snake in the city. Reptile on the loose after attack" screamed the front page of mx, Melbourne's free commuter paper. Other outlets including the ABC and The Age reported the story less feverishly.

The victim, said The Age " was taken to St Vincent's Hospital, where a swab test confirmed he had been bitten by a brown snake, one of the deadliest snakes in the world and the leading cause of snakebite deaths in Australia. But a hospital spokesman said the snake's highly-toxic venom had not entered the man's bloodstream. He remained in a stable condition, but would be kept in hospital overnight for observation."

I was surprised by this, not only because I'd believed that snakes would find it hard to survive undetected in a busy environment like the Melbourne CBD but also because it was so cold on the day (I can confirm this as I was near the scene later in the morning).

Video of the scene of the incident shows a lot of rubbish which could harbour rodents which in turn could attract snakes. But in winter? A 20cm brown snake is a young one, and therefore probably not alone....And if it can happen in Melbourne then why not in any other Australian city?

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