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Venomous snake found lurking in child's bed, blending in with her stuffed animals

Snake catcher removes snake from child's bed
Snake catcher removes venomous snake from child's bed 00:34

It is the stuff of nightmares. A family in Australia realized one of the stuffed animals on their young daughter's bed was not actually a toy — it was a real and highly venomous snake. The red-bellied black snake slithered onto the unicorn-themed bed in Jimboomba, Queensland, and tried to blend in with some toys — but it couldn't hide for long.

A snake catcher with Snake Catchers Brisbane and Gold Coast responded to the home to remove the snake, and video of the capture has gone viral. After picking up the snake with a tool and his bare hands, the catcher allowed the reptile to slither its way into a bag. 

Red-bellied black snakes, which are black with brown noses and red stomachs, are common in eastern Australia, and while they are venomous, they are probably the least dangerous elapid snake on the continent, according to The Australian Museum.

While very few red-bellied black snake bites have been reported, and very few bites have lead to death, the museum says bites should be treated seriously, since individual reactions to venom can vary. Typically, a bite will cause bleeding or swelling, nausea, vomiting, headache, abdominal pain and other symptoms.

These snakes will often freeze when approached and then try to flee, experts say. But if they can't escape, they might hiss, make mock strikes, or lash out if bothered. If they do attack, they can even latch on and "chew savagely" the museum says. 

Australians are no strangers to wild and potentially dangerous animals — in some cases found lurking in their homes. Earlier this year, one family spotted a dangerous eastern brown snake in the underwear drawer of their 3-year-old son. The highly venomous snake was removed by local pest control specialist Mark Pelley, known to as "The Snake Hunter."

Pelley said the snake likely got into the house when the boy's mother took the clothing in from a line outside, and got into the drawer when she was folding clothes. 

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