Biggest brown snake recorded on Coast caught in shed
RICHIE Gilbert doesn't get nervous any more after 17 years of snake catching, but the adrenaline was pumping while he caught the biggest eastern brown snake recorded on the Sunshine Coast.
Owner of Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7 was called out to an Elimbah home on Friday where the snake was closing in on residents sitting on a couch in a shed.
After 15 minutes of scrambling over furniture as the snake weaved through small spaces, Richie caught the 2.05m eastern brown - the biggest measured by snake catchers on the Sunshine Coast.
While the amount of food source helps determine the size, Richie said the snake would have been at least 10 years old.
The average size of eastern browns caught was about 1.5m to 1.7m, so this monster snake was a highlight for Richie who has caught about 1000.
"We are always waiting for that huge one," he said.
"As much as I am used to it, eastern browns give you that boost of adrenaline other snakes don't."
His passion for snakes began before he could remember after he "horrified" his mum when he caught a red-bellied black snake on a camping trip when he was five years old.
Richie's professional career started in 2002 when he was approached by National Parks and Wildlife to help with a brown snake "issue" around Bundaberg and Bargara.
He relocated snakes around that area and the northern suburbs of Brisbane before moving to the Sunshine Coast and setting up his own business.
His team helped relocate about four or five snakes a day during the dry season, and has been called to 15 jobs a day during storms and wet seasons.
Richie said snakes were quiet in the dry seasons and became more active as storms rolled in.
Unlike other species, brown snakes thrived in urban development and were commonly found wherever their food source of rats and mice lived.
He said although the venomous snake was daunting to come across, there were simple steps to avoid provoking one.
"Venomous snakes rely heavily on vision and are alerted by movement," he said.
"If you stand still, the snake will move straight past you."
The massive snake was relocated, but Richie said it was a catch he won't easily forget.
For more information, visit the page or contact Richie to organise relocation on 0409 536 000.