A Queensland snake hunter has shared a warning to pet owners after retrieving a carpet snake that crept into a cage and ate two grandmothers.
The hungry snake entered the cage through gaps in its narrow bars, despite being twice their size.
After eating the birds, the snake was no longer able to get out to escape.
Sunshine Coast snake hunter Stu Mackenzie said that while many pet owners don’t consider snakes a threat to their animals, his team attends similar jobs daily.
“The daughter called me saying that she had just received a call from her mother saying that a snake had entered the cage and had eaten two cuddly birds,” said Mr. Mackenzie.
“She was a little nervous too, no one wanted to see this situation. Birds are like family to some people.
“We rushed there as fast as we could but it was too late.”
Brisbane resident Rain Park said she went through a similar ordeal after a snake crept into a bird cage and ate the family’s parrot.
“I had two parrots in the cage and I woke up to one snake and one parrot in the cage,” said Mrs. Park.
“My son was destroyed because they were his birds. One of them survived, thank God.”
Mr. McKenzie said bird cages and guinea pig enclosures were not built with snakes in mind and extra precautions should be taken to ensure pet safety.
“It’s basically just an open buffet. If they don’t have snakes that resist, the snakes can get in easily and they will keep coming back.”
He said chickens in open-air cages were the most common victims, as were birds in open-air cages.
The homeowner was shocked when an unwanted guest came out of the exhaust fan
“We remind everyone to go check their containers,” Mr. McKenzie said.
He added that those who keep their birds in outdoor cages should consider bringing them in at night, as this is the time when snakes are most active.
Placing wire mesh over cages for birds and guinea pigs can prevent snakes from entering.
“A snake once got into a cage and ate 14 birds,” MacKenzie said. “It couldn’t move anymore. It was that fat.”
“It’s so amazing that they can squeeze through gaps at half their size.”