‘Look before you leak’: 1.6m snake bites woman’s bum
A WOMAN is warning others to "look before you leak" after a snake bit her on the bottom while she was sitting on the toilet.
Helen Richards, 59, was holidaying at her sister-in-law's home in Chapel Hill in Brisbane's west when she was bitten on Tuesday afternoon.
"I felt this sharp tap and a little bit of pain. I thought it was a green frog, but then I thought 'green frogs don't have teeth'," Mrs Richards said.
"I jumped up with my pants down and turned around to see what looked like a longneck turtle receding back into the bowl."
She then peeked in the toilet and realised it was a snake about 1.6m long.
The midwife said the non-venomous carpet python drew blood.
She said she was glad she had grown up on a farm, which helped her keep her composure.
"I took a photo then put the lid down and put two pot plants on it," Mrs Richards said.
Luckily for the reptile, Mrs Richards turned the other cheek and called out snake catcher Jasmine Zeleny.
Ms Zeleny, 27, said finding snakes in toilets was more common than people thought.
She advised people to have a little peek before sitting down and, if something was lurking, not to flush because it made it more difficult to rescue the reptile.
The snake catcher said there were a few reasons they would seek water.
"It's very dry at the moment, but it also might be the snakes are coming up to shedding their skin so they like to soak," Ms Zeleny said.
"They might also be getting rid of ticks."
She said it was unusual to be bitten in this manner.
"Most people won't be bitten unless they're getting too close, interfering with them or trying to kill it," Ms Zeleny said.
The snake catcher released the snake near a creek so it could continue its soak.
Ms Zeleny said it was "smack bang" in middle of snake season and if you found a snake in your home, contain it in a room by putting a towel underneath the door or, if it could not be contained, keep an eye on it and phone a professional to remove it.
Mrs Richards said she cleaned the wound, which was four punctures, by washing with soap and water and spraying with disinfectant.
She visited a GP for a tetanus shot the next day, and she wanted to tell people to peek before you leak.
"My sister-in-law plied me gin and tonics to soothe the shakes afterwards," she said.