Bird-eating snake scares off sea-change city slickers
May 8, 2009 - 10:42AM
A Sydney couple who watched in "horror" as a snake attempted to swallow a large ibis bird while they inspected a sea change property at Port Douglas have failed to return the real estate agent's calls.
The ravenous scrub python scared away the city slickers, house-hunting for a beach-front property at the exclusive Four Mile Beach, with its valiant attempt to devour the bird, which was so large, its beak punctured the snake's stomach.
The Sydneysiders, escorted by Century 21 real estate agent Phil Holloway, were looking at sub-divided land at the Sands estate when they reeled back in "sheer horror".
Mr Holloway managed to photograph the amazing sight.
"The snake was clearly in a bit of trouble, so it started to bring up its meal," Mr Holloway said.
The injured reptile regurgitated the ibis before slowly slithering away.
Regretfully, Mr Holloway doesn't know whether the snake survived, although rangers with the Rainforest Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary said it was unlikely the wound would have healed.
The sanctuary's curator Terry Carmichael said it was "highly unlikely" the snake would have recovered from the severe stomach gash.
"There would have been stomach juices leaking into the body cavity and that's not good. Reptiles are known to have incredible powers of healing, but it is very unlikely this snake would have survived," Mr Carmichael said.
Mr Holloway admitted it was unlikely the Sydney couple would purchase the beachside Four Mile property.
"They haven't returned my phone calls," he said.
Five years ago, a resident of nearby Mowbray lost his Yorkshire terrier to a snake.
Mr Carmichael said sanctuary rangers had captured 40 troublesome scrub pythons in Port Douglas since January.