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Mitchell Thorburn was doing what does every day, attending a snake callout on the Gold Coast, when he saw something that stopped him in his tracks.
Video uploaded to social media shows the forked tongue of the juvenile snake flickering.
The eastern brown was being eaten alive, tail-first.
Thorburn told 9news.com.au he’s never seen anything like it in his career.
“It’s the first time I’ve had a snake poke its head out of another.
“It’s not at all surprising to see red-bellied snakes eat other snakes, but I’ve never picked up a venomous snake and had another snake pop out.”
Thorburn went on to debunk a popular urban myth – that eastern brown snakes and red-bellied black snakes don’t inhabit the same areas.
“They don’t compete much for food.”
Despite the confronting sight he filmed, he said the reptiles’ predation works both ways.
“Eastern brown snakes have been known to feed on red-bellied snakes too,” he said.
“An eastern brown would take on a smaller-red bellied snake and vice versa.”
The incident comes as reptile handlers gear up for one of the busiest periods of snake season, which typically runs from September to April.
Hatchlings are starting to emerge and enter homes.
“Keep your doors closed, and if you see a snake stay well away from it.
“If it’s causing an issue please call a qualified snack catcher.”
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