Blimey! Massive boa constrictor found on back porch
EXCITEMENT soon turned to dismay for snake catcher Matt Moon, after he found a boa constrictor on the back porch of an East Mackay home.
The snake was one of 10 illegal exotic animals seized in Queensland this year, and the only one outside of southern Queensland.
A Biosecurity Queensland spokesman said the boa constrictor was captured in Mackay after a member of the public reported seeing it and called a snake catcher.
However, as licences to keep the South American snake are only permitted for scientific purposes, the spokesman could not be certain how the snake arrived in Mackay.
Mr Moon believes it easily could have been smuggled in a pocket as a baby, as the juvenile boa constrictors "are only about the size of a shoelace".
When he first found the snake, it was wrapped around a pot plant on an East Mackay porch.
He believes it had been a pet snake, because it was trying to interact with the people around it.
"But they were pretty disturbed," he said.
It was about 1.6m long and Mr Moon guessed it was two or three years old, as the fully grown adults are about 2m.
He said it was "fairly fat" and weighed about 5kg.
At first he found it difficult to identify and thought it was a jaguar carpet python.
But after consulting his snake books, realised it was a red-tailed boa constrictor.
"I was quite rapt when I first found out. I'm a snake collector myself and I'd never handled a boa constrictor before," he said.
"It upsets me that because someone smuggled it in, it had to be condemned to death.
"There's enough snakes in Australia, you don't need to smuggle more in."
Queensland Police have been contacted, to see if any charges were laid.
Since January 2016 ten illegal exotic animals (snakes and turtles) have been seized in Queensland:
- 1 x American corn snake - Brisbane
- 1 x Red-Eared slider turtle - Gold Coast
- 2 x American corn snakes - Gold Coast
- 1 x Chinchilla - Redland Bay
- 1 x Russian tortoise - Brisbane
- 1 x American corn snake - Logan
- 1 x American corn snake - St George
- 1 x Red-Eared slider turtle - Brisbane
- 1 x Boa constrictor - Mackay
Biosecurity Queensland reminds people that keeping exotic reptiles as pets is illegal under the Biosecurity Act 2014.
There are also penalties for failing to report a prohibited reptile species.