The python, dubbed
The python, dubbed "Dwayne", is recuperating in the care of Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers' Rowan Wigmore. Photo Contributed Contributed

Dwayne the snake rescued by dedicated wildlife carer

UPDATE: IT WAS thanks to the dedication and care of local man Rowan Wigmore that the snake, dubbed "Dwayne", is still breathing.

Mr Wigmore said it was very lucky that he or she (They so far haven't been able to determine which sex the coastal carpet python is) survived.

"There were so many things that could have gone wrong," he said.

"The fact that the rain showers they had at the time, and then the good timing with the plumber and that they noticed and didn't just think it was clogged up mud.

"She was a very lucky snake, any one of those little scenarios could have killed her.

Mr Wigmore said they had no idea how long Dwayne had been stuck in the drain pipe, and were concerned that its internal organs may have been injured.

At one point Mr Wigmore thought it was all over.

"It was very unresponsive in the pipe, the plumber said they hadn't seen her move," he said.

"He or she didn't move at all - I thought, 'oh god please don't die.'

"I thought 'is it worth putting the snake through all of this - if it's on the edge of death would it be better to just take it to the bet and get it put down?'

"But I'd made my promise to it to get it out."

After around an hour of experimenting with different tools, the snake was finally free.

"It was a pretty delicate operation, but fortunately no knicks or cuts to her.

"It just realised I was helping it, and never once struck out."

So far however, things are looking good.

"Once it can pass food it will be ok," Mr Wigmore said.

"I've got her at home in a warm tub - She's been recuperating at the moment."

The reaction on the NRWCs Facebook page to the miraculous rescue has blown him away, he said.

In addition, he said, the tenant of the Booyong Road, Clunes, house where the snake was found, as well as the plumber who found it, had said they wished to be in attendance when Dwayne is released into the wild.

"It's so lovely that so many people around the Northern Rivers care about animals, even snakes," Mr Wigmore said.

Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers is run by volunteers and is kept going by donations. To donate or become a volunteer, visit


This python was rescued by Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers after becoming stuck in a pipe. Photo Contributed
This python was rescued by Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers after becoming stuck in a pipe. Photo Contributed Contributed

INITIAL REPORT: ONE lucky python has been rescued after becoming stuck in a piece of pipe.

Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers posted the rescue story on their Facebook page, as told by "dedicated NRWC carer Rowan".

"This python had ventured into a rainwater downpipe and performed a U-turn, which wedged it firmly in the pipe between the gutter and the vertical downpipe on the side of the house," Rowan said.

"Luck was on its side and a series of events led to its release.

"The house was having new water-tanks and pipes fitted and the plumber doing the work was removing the old pipes. He had cut through a 45° fitting and pulled the pipe from the gutter.

"The cut had narrowly missed the snake!

The following is a rescue story told by dedicated NRWC carer Rowan. This python had ventured into a rainwater downpipe...

Posted by Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers Inc on Thursday, October 29, 2015

"Believing that the weight of the pipe was due to accumulated leaves and mud, he threw the pipe to the ground - a drop of about 4 metres.

"Only when no mud came out he looked to find a coastal carpet python firmly stuck within.

"I was unable to remove the snake on site and took it home to cut the pipe.

"I made a promise to the snake that I would get it out. It was alive but unresponsive and I thought that even if I did extricate it he or she might not survive.

"I began by sawing the pipe but this was fraught as one stroke too many would cut into its body.

"I tried using a high-speed hobby drill to burr away at the pipe but it quickly became blunted.

"I had called the fire-brigade but their tools were too large as the snake had nearly filled the diameter of the pipe.

"Toying with the idea that it might be best to just euthanase the snake rather than put it through a further ordeal I remembered my promise and experimented with tools that I had on hand.

"Success was with wire cutters as these cut the pipe and expanded the cut breaking the plastic ahead.

"I cut and removed small sections over the next hour or so and with each cut a bit more snake bulged out.

"On reaching the gutter-end of the pipe the python was loose but the skin had adhered to the pipe.

"With some gentle persuasion it was soon free.

"A warm bath, removal of eight ticks, some time resting in a warm enclosure and it was looking much better.

"A trip to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital on the Monday for a check and it was given a clean bill of health.

"It will be in care for about 10 days just to see if it can pass food ok and then released home.

"The snake was so lucky that: it didn't drown during recent rain, it was found by the plumber, it survived the fall, it wasn't injured in the cutting procedure and it had the care of the great people at CWH."

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