Carpet Python

I have to admit, snakes are not one of my favourite animals, however we do encounter them in our backyard on occasion, and with the increased activity of snake sightings in our area recently, probably due to the early hot summer conditions, I thought I would write about my own experiences with the carpet python.

Here’s a few photos of a carpet python I took in our yard in August 2014 (the end of winter here) after I heard some birds making a lot of noise. For some reason the snake wanted to hang around our house and it took some doing to guide it away and make sure it kept going away from us.  By the way, notice the solar snake repeller on the right hand side of the photo? Don’t waste your money on these things that supposedly keep snakes away by emitting ultrasonic pulses – they don’t work!!

carpet python

carpet python

This particular snake can grow to 3 metres in length (that’s over 9 feet) and are widespread across Australia. They are usually an olive green colour with markings, but the colourings and patterns can alter depending on their location.

Trivia Bit – A hatched baby carpet python measures 39cm (15 inches) in length!

These snakes are active day and night and can be encountered on the ground, in trees and in buildings, and if you’re unlucky, inside your home. They are non venomous but can still give you a nasty bite, not to mention a nasty fright if you come across one unexpectedly. Here’s a photo of a carpet python I came across hiding out in an old cable reel near our laundry in early November 2014. If you look carefully, you can see a slight bulge in the snake so I think it had recently eaten something. This one was at least 5 foot long from what I could see of it because its tail was still inside the cable reel.

carpet python

Carpet pythons eat frogs, lizards, birds and small mammals. Unfortunately, they will also eat your pets – small dogs, cats, guinea pigs, birds and of course chickens. We lost one of our young chickens to a carpet python over Christmas after it found its way into what we thought was a snake proof hen house. Lately, in our area, there have been news reports of increased sightings of snakes, mainly carpet pythons, and even cases where they have eaten someone’s pet.

Read this news report of someone’s pet dog being eaten by a carpet python back in March 2014 complete with photos.

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/animals/python-in-the-dog-house-after-eating-family-pet-20140314-34qzh.html

And read this one from January 2015 about a warning to pet owners.

http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/lifestyle/pets-and-wildlife/pet-owners-are-being-warned-to-secure-pets-after-a-kitten-and-guinea-pig-were-eaten-by-hungry-snakes-in-the-gold-coast-hinterland-in-the-past-24-hours/story-fnk74alk-1227174657537

Carpet pythons kill prey by constricting it until it suffocates then swallows it whole. It will then usually go somewhere quiet to digest its food until it becomes hungry again. Here is an incredible video (not mine) of a carpet python eating a possum in the Brisbane area in March 2014.

Have you ever seen an old snake skin? I found this one in our yard in mid November 2014 and it measured over 5 foot long.

snake skin

It could possibly belong to the snake that had been hanging out in the old cable reel pictured above. Why does a snake shed its skin? As it grows, the snake’s skin becomes worn and stretched until it gets to a point where new skin grows underneath and the old skin is discarded. I read somewhere that before it sheds its skin, a snake’s eyes turn a bluish colour. Here’s a close up photo I took of the carpet python living in the old cable reel – does its eye look bluish to you?

close up of a head of a carpet python

Trivia Bit – Carpet pythons got their name because their patterned markings resembled the patterns on old fashioned carpets!