COVID-19 testing site in Sydney closed after ‘influx’ of venomous red-bellied black snakes

A COVID-19 testing facility in Sydney’s west had to be closed after unexpected, venomous, guests were found on its grounds.

Employees at the site, in St Marys, spotted a number of red-bellied black snakes ranging from young to a “medium-sized” individual.

One snake was filmed slithering through a carpark before Australian Snake Catcher owner Sean Cade captured it using a wheelie bin and hook.

One red-bellied black snake was filmed slithering through the carpark of the COVID-19 testing site. (Australian Snake Catchers / Sean Cade)

Mr Cade explained the multiple sightings weren’t unusual for this time of year.

“The red-bellied black snakes may have misread RAT testing,” he told 9news.com.au.

“Staff had originally sighted a medium-sized snake on Friday last week, and due to improved weather conditions and the influx of babies being born over the last couple of months, they sighted a couple of baby snakes again on Monday.

“So they temporarily closed the testing facility until we attended.”

The red-bellied black snake was captured and released in a nearby waterway.
The red-bellied black snake was captured and released in a nearby waterway. (Australian Snake Catchers / Sean Cade)
Red-bellied black snakes are considered 'dangerously' venomous., the Australian Reptile Park says.
Red-bellied black snakes are considered ‘dangerously’ venomous, the Australian Reptile Park says. (Australian Snake Catchers / Sean Cade)

Mr Cade said the snake filmed was successfully caught and later released.

“There’s a waterway nearby which is a favourable location for this species,” he said.

“We conducted a thorough inspection of the entire site to ensure there were no other snakes.”

HOOK-NOSED SEA SNAKE Enhydrina schistosa. Close up showing head detail and scales. Specimen from coast of Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. stock photo

The world’s deadliest, most terrifying, snakes

While red-bellied black snakes are venomous, bites are rare due to the reptiles’ docile nature.

Should a bite occur symptoms of envenomation include: bleeding and/or swelling at the bite site, nausea, vomiting, headache, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, sweating, local or general muscle pain and weakness, and red-brown urine.

Their venom has anticoagulant and myotoxic effects, meaning it has a toxic effect on muscle and stops blood from clotting.

Reference-www.9news.com.au

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