“I’VE GOT him by the tail, so he’s not going nowhere,” says a man, very calmly, as he attempts to extract a venomous snake from the glovebox of a Toyota.
The video, above, was taken outside a pharmacy in Lowood, Queensland — a state in Australia, a country that seemingly acts as a factory for videos of potentially lethal animals mingling with the human inhabits.
The reptile in question was removed from the car by Andrew Smedley of Andrew’s Snake Removals, based in Brisbane. In a post accompanying the video, Smedley said: “The lady driving obviously got a hell of a fright as she saw it coming out while driving and pulled into the chemist.
“I opened up the glovebox and there it was, sitting nice and content. It’s usually a nightmare to find a snake when it’s got into a car but luckily found this guy pretty quickly.” The animal was identified by Smedley as a red-bellied snake, a species endemic to Australia.
Although there have been no recorded deaths in Australia as results of red-bellied snake bites, they accounted for nearly a fifth (16%) of snakebite victims in the country between 2005 and 2015, and several bites have resulted in amputation. Nausea, vomiting, headaches, diarrhoea and excessive bleeding are common consequences of red-bellied bites, and victims have also been known to lose their sense of smell.
The species is usually found in woodlands, forest and swamplands. The glovebox of a Toyota, therefore, is decidedly not its natural habitat. Luckily, however, red-bellied snakes are known to be shy and tend to avoid squaring up to humans.
Typifying the seeming abundance of such events in Australia, no-one in the video seems remotely concerned about the snake’s presence. The owner of the car, unnamed and out of frame, says “nice, nice,” when told that the snake “was sitting right in [her] glovebox”. The snake removal expert, with one hand on the creature and the other on his mobile phone, even remarks that “he’s not too big”, as he carries four feet of venomous reptile out of the car.
In the comments on the Facebook post, Smedley said that the snake likely boarded the car at the woman’s home in Clarendon, about seven miles from the pharmacist where the video was shot, before riding with her for the 10 minute journey. He said that it likely climbed onto the tyres and then through to the engine and from there into the interior, using its ability to “squeeze through the smallest of gaps”.
Despite the calm atmosphere in the video, Smedley admitted that he had never found a snake in a glovebox before. He told Storyful: “Snakes often end up in cars, usually in the engine bay, and from there they can pretty much go anywhere depending on the car. I’ve relocated quite a few snakes from cars over the years but never one in a glovebox.”
Most worryingly, he told one commenter that although he’s received many callouts regarding snakes in cars over the years, there have been “many he couldn’t find”.
Other animals that find cars a cosy place to hang out include spiders, and in Australia there are many venomous varieties of arachnid, too. Huntsmen spiders such as the one crawling in and out of the boot of the Mazda in the video below have been known to drop from below the dashboard onto motorists’ feet as they’re driving.