A Queanbeyan couple received quite a shock last week when a two metre snake decided to take a nap in their garage.
The McIntosh Street residents said they were woken around 3am by their dogs barking furiously in the garage.
Originally fearing it was a tiger snake due to its colouring they tried to get in touch with wildlife agencies but were unable to do so until 7am the next morning.
Eventually Gavin Smith who runs ACT Snake Removals but also volunteers with Wildcare visited the house and found the uninvited guest curled up behind a fridge.
Mr Smith was able to determine immediately it was not a tiger snake but a Bredli Python, which was an unusual sight considering its native habitat is in the southern part of the Northern Territory.
In fact Mr Smith said he had not encountered a situation such as this in the two years he had been removing snakes in the region. But he thought it may become a more common occurrence.
“I suspect there are quite a lot of escapee pythons around,” Mr Smith said.
He said this python was almost certainly either an escaped pet or dumped illegally by an owner that could no longer control it as it got too big and strong.
Although he admitted he had heard stories of pythons hitching rides on cars and even planes and said it would be a wonderful story if this snake had somehow made its way here from central Australia.
Mr Smith said the Bredli Python while not venomous had an extremely strong bite and could crush prey by coiling around it.
Owners are required to have strict licences to keep Bredli Pythons and other reptiles, these are controlled by the Office of Environment and Heritage.
The snake is currently in the care of Wildcare, Mr Smith said the organisation’s reptile coordinator would try and locate an owner from licensed reptile owners that had reported a missing snake.
Should no owner be found licensed owners will be invited to enter a ballot for ownership of the python.
Mr Smith described this particular snake as a real joy to handle and said in the short time it was in his custody he had grown very attached to it.