Herald Sun - - NEWS - JOSH FAGAN

A HUNT for a toy brought a young girl face to face with a tiger snake in her Pre­ston back­yard.

The slip­pery stow­away was at the bot­tom of a wooden box and was al­most mis­taken for a toy by Ruby, 8.

Her fa­ther, Dave Hall, said Ruby was lean­ing over the box close to one of the world’s most ven­omous snakes.

“She said to me: ‘I didn’t re­alise we had a toy snake’, then she saw its tongue come out and she screamed,” he said. “I went over think­ing it would maybe be a lizard and I looked in and just thought s---.”

He said he hid the chil­dren in­side and took refuge on top of the tram­po­line. When Mark Pel­ley — known as the Snake Hunter — ar­rived, the snake lunged at him twice be­fore he caught it by the tail.

“The child would have had very lit­tle chance (if she was bit­ten),” he said.

His ad­vice to any­one who finds a snake was to slowly back away from it.

Ruby, brother Ash­ley and Mark ‘Snake Hunter’ Pel­ley, with the tiger snake Ruby found in her Pre­ston back­yard.

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