WIRES snake catcher Dave Endres captures his first eastern brown snake, in the advertising department of The Northern Star building yesterday afternoon.
WIRES snake catcher Dave Endres captures his first eastern brown snake, in the advertising department of The Northern Star building yesterday afternoon. Jay Cronan

Brown snake frightens Star staff

THE advertising staff of The Northern Star were left shaking in their shoes after a close encounter with a lost brown snake yesterday afternoon.

The lonely brown, estimated to be about 1.2m long, wandered into the air-conditioned advertising department at about 3.30pm and had an immediate impact with workers promptly deciding to down tools in fear.

Luckily, local WIRES expert Dave Endres answered the desperate call for help.

“It’s the first brown snake I’ve caught,” Mr Endres said.

“I’ve been catching snakes for two years but that’s the first brown. I just love snakes. It’s a passion.”

With his wife working full-time, Mr Endres cares for the couples’ children which allows him to volunteer as a snake catcher with WIRES.

“I’m pretty lucky,” he said.

“At the moment we’re probably getting four to five calls a week to pick up snakes.”

The Australian Venom Research Unit rates the eastern brown snake as dangerous.

“The average venom yield is around 4mg (although the record venom yield was 67mg),” says the website.

“The venom contains potent neurotoxins and procoagulants, resulting in progressive paralysis and incoagulable blood.

“Clotting defects may require multiple doses of antivenom for complete reversal. Occasional fatalities have occurred as a result of bleeding into the brain due to coagulation disturbances.

“The average length is approximately 1.5m, and the largest recorded length 2.4m.

“When attacking the brown snake winds its body into an ‘S’ shape, raising itself off the ground.”

Mr Endres said he would release the snake nearby as eastern browns are territorial.

“They need to be able to find their food and water,” he said.

There was some hope Mr Endres would release the reptile in the vicinity of the general manager’s car.

WIRES snake catchers can be contacted on 6628 1898.



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