“There’s a snake in my plughole”

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - Clau­dia Alp clau­[email protected]­sun­day­times.com.au

WE’VE all heard how incy wincy spi­der climbed up the water spout, but here in North Queens­land, the python up the plughole is the al­ter­na­tive ver­sion.

It’s def­i­nitely not what Ju­bilee Pocket woman Mar­lene Manto ex­pected to see when she walked into her bath­room on De­cem­ber 4.

But when she flicked the light switch and spot­ted her un­in­vited guest re­lax­ing in the bath­tub, Ms Manto re­mained as cool as a cu­cum­ber.

“It gave me a start but I wouldn’t say I was fright­ened. One does not ex­pect to see a snake in one’s bath,” she said.

“I im­me­di­ately no­ticed that it was pat­terned so I thought it might have been a python. But I knew I didn’t know enough about snakes.

“I raced into the kitchen, took what pho­tos I could and put them straight on to the Snakes of the Whit­sun­days Face­book page.”

The snake, about 60cm long, was iden­ti­fied as a “cheeky, spot­ted python” by Whit­sun­day snake catcher David Bar­well.

As luck would have it, the python showed up a day be­fore Ms Manto’s birth­day party.

Although the un­usual bath­room dec­o­ra­tion didn’t faze her, she knew her guests would feel oth­er­wise.

“I knew I had to do some­thing, so I reached my hand out and it reared up, but it was like a chi­huahua. I just thought: ‘That’s cute’. It gave me the chance to very quickly grab him and grab the other end,” she said.

“But it was a bit tricky be­cause I was alone. I had two hands full of very up­set snake.

“I man­aged to el­bow the door open and put him out­side in the gar­den. He

❝ One does not ex­pect to see a snake in one’s bath. — Mar­lene Manto

took off at about 90 miles an hour. He was re­ally just keen to get away.”

Whit­sun­day snake catcher Neil Cut­ten said spot­ted pythons were not dan­ger­ous in any shape or form although ju­ve­niles could be “bitey”.

Mr Cut­ten said the best thing to do if one did hap­pen to get up the pipes was iso­late it by clos­ing the door and us­ing a towel to close the gap, then call­ing a snake catcher.

Ms Manto said had it been a taran­tula, she would have emp­tied a can of Mortein and moved into a ho­tel for the night.

As it hap­pened, her vis­i­tor wasn’t ven­omous and was, in fact, “a very pretty snake”. But liv­ing in an en­vi­ron­ment with snakes, Ms Manto said peo­ple just needed to be sen­si­ble.

“I think peo­ple just have to be sen­si­ble and get on to the snake catch­ers page. You don’t need to be afraid of them be­cause se­ri­ously they just want to be away from you,” she said.

“If it was a dan­ger­ous snake or if I was ter­ri­fied of it, I would have asked one of the snake catch­ers to come and get it.

“But I can­not stand it when peo­ple say they kill them. We live in this en­vi­ron­ment. There are snakes that are here. There are snakes in any en­vi­ron­ment.”


SNAKE IN THE TUB: A “cheeky, lit­tle spot­ted python” sur­prised Ju­bilee Pocket woman Mar­lene Manto when he popped out of her bath­tub plughole on De­cem­ber 4.

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