The Gold Coast Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - ALEXAN­DRIA UTTING alexan­

ONE Gold Coast boy will be turn­ing on the light be­fore go­ing to the toi­let in the dark from now on af­ter be­ing greeted by a sur­prise vis­i­tor on Sun­day morn­ing.

The Gua­n­aba fam­ily got the fright their lives yes­ter­day when one of their young chil­dren found a brown tree snake slith­er­ing in the toi­let at their semi-ru­ral prop­erty.

Coast snake catcher Tony Har­ri­son said it only took him about five min­utes to catch the “firey lit­tle snake” but he knew the res­i­dents wouldn’t for­get the in­ci­dent in a hurry.

“From what I gather one of their chil­dren lifted up the seat and no­ticed him there,” he said.

“He (the fa­ther) was freak­ing out. He was be­side him­self. He didn’t say any­thing but I could tell he was about to have a heart at­tack be­cause of the kids be­ing there.”

Mr Har­ri­son said while brown tree snakes are only slightly ven­omous, they bite at “the drop of a hat”.

“Had some­one sat down (on the seat) and he started chew­ing on them, it would have scared the life out of them,” he said.

The brown tree snake is a bird-eat­ing, noc­tur­nal climb­ing snake which is in its breed­ing sea­son, Mr Har­ri­son said.

He said the slip­pery lit­tle sucker could have been in the toi­let look­ing for a mate.

While this par­tic­u­lar vis­i­tor snuck into the house and hid un­der the seat, Mr Har­ri­son said it was not un­heard of for snakes to come up into toi­lets through pipes and cis­terns.

“I’ve had that hap­pen in high­rise build­ings,” Mr Har­ri­son said. “Some species can come through the pipes. The semi-aquatic ones can be in the cis­tern and work their way up, but in my en­tire time snake catch­ing I’ve only seen it about 10 times.”

But snakes slith­er­ing in win­dows and hid­ing un­der the lip of the toi­let bowl? Un­for­tu­nately, that’s more com­mon.

“I’ve caught a few in ex­actly the same spot,” Mr Har­ri­son said. “Car­pet pythons do it a lot and so do red belly black snakes be­cause green tree frogs get in there (toi­lets) and they’re look­ing for them.”

But it’s not the strangest place he has found a snake.

“Let your imag­i­na­tion run wild,” he said.

“Think of im­moral things, men­tion your dark­est, deep­est se­crets and I can tell you about a snake associated with that. I’ve opened cup­boards with sex­ual things, been to crops with il­le­gal things and lifted beds and seen more of a 60year-old than I’ve wanted to. The things I’ve found, the places I’ve been … this must be Aus­tralia.”

The slip­pery in­truder is re­moved from the toi­let.

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