HOSPITAL EMERGENCY: A 1.6m brown snake captured near the emergency department at Mullumbimby Hospital on Thursday.
HOSPITAL EMERGENCY: A 1.6m brown snake captured near the emergency department at Mullumbimby Hospital on Thursday.

Snake invades ambulance bay

STAFF at Mullumbimby Hospital had to step outside their normal job descriptions this week to ward off a feisty brown snake keen to make the hospital's ambulance bay part of its territory.

Doctors, nurses and maintenance staff joined in the effort to protect the hospital when the snake was found lingering outside on Thursday.

One doctor said the 1.6m reptile was moving around the hospital and car park, with it even attacking his car tyre as they tried to get it into a laundry bag for removal.

Acting executive officer and director of nursing, Keryn York, said the snake was initially found in a covered drain outside the emergency department and staff had to police the area for about 20 minutes to ensure it did not make its way inside.

“It happens occasionally that snakes will be in the vicinity. It is a rural hospital and the heat in the past few weeks is really bringing them out,” Ms York said.

Eventually, the hospital's maintenance man managed to bag the snake and wait for the arrival of George the Snakeman to remove it.

The Snakeman arrived at the hospital en route to another call, to a snake on the Mullumbimby High School grounds.

He said he was getting between six and eight calls a day at the moment after an unusually early start to the snake season.

And most of the calls were coming from Mullumbimby and Byron Bay.

“This is the hot spot at the moment,” he said.

“This year they started a bit earlier. I don't normally start getting busy until mid-September.

“They are much more intense than I normally know them.”

The frenzy of snake activity was partly due to ongoing dry conditions, the Snakeman said.

“First of all it has been really dry, so they're coming closer to the houses than normal,” he said.

People should cut the grass and clear debris around their homes.



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