Mum’s warning after terrifying discovery in photo
A VICTORIAN mum got the fright of her life on Wednesday when she was out bushwalking with her young family.
Stacee Chapman and her partner Jake took their 16-month-old twins for a wander in the sunshine at Kings Billabong near Mildura in Victoria.
The Mildura-based makeup artist took a series of photos of her daughters Isla and Ava as they trampled through the bush. Little did she know that one of her happy snaps would make her sick to her stomach.
At one point during the excursion Jake, who Stacee calls the "calm" one, realised the children were in serious danger - he saw a suspected brown snake slithering through their legs as they walked.
He immediate grabbed the girls out of harm's way.
"He was prepared to get bitten for his kids. It happened quite fast, but he scooped up both girls placed them with me and stomped behind the snake and it slid away," Stacee told nine.com.au.
Stacee posted about their terrifying experience on her Facebook page, writing "JUST A WARNING - be careful down the billabong in Mildura OR anywhere in general in the bush on this beautiful day.
"We were just having lunch and going on a nice adventure - I was just in my own world, playing and taking photos.
"Luckily Jack was there (the calm one) and notified me … I just screamed and wanted to cry because this snake ended up between both the girls feet, luckily no one is hurt! BUT MY GOD."
Afterwards, Stacee went through the photos she had taken and found the picture below. Her heart stopped when she looked at the bottom left hand corner and saw the snake in the frame. It showed exactly how close the venomous snake had come to her small girls.
"Makes me sick to my stomach, we are so thankful and blessed our babies are safe and home with us," she continued on Facebook.
"We had a guardian angel or two looking after them today".
She finished her post with the hashtag "#f*cknature".
The post quickly gained traction on social media, with more than 800 reactions and almost 500 shares.
Despite the big scare, Stacee says the close encounter won't put her off taking to the bush with her family.
"Obviously, you think about what could have happened and your mind plays a few scenarios, we just have to be more careful next time, hot or not," she told nine.com.au.
The family's close encounter comes one day after a monster brown snake was caught in after an epic five-hour standoff with a QLD snake catcher.
Andrew Smedley, who owns Andrew's SNAKE Removal, spent a large chunk of Tuesday in wait for an Eastern Brown that had made a habit of sunbaking on a rock wall at a residence in Marburg, 60km west of Brisbane.
The snake had a habit of making daily appearances about 9am, and sure enough, as if it was keeping an appointment, the Eastern brown slithered out for its cameo - but not long enough for Mr Smedley to nab it.
It swiftly retreated into the rock wall and that's when the fun and games began for the Ipswich-based catcher who first tried to flush it out using a garden hose.
"He poked his head out and then went straight back in and in situations like that I try and flush them out with a hose," Mr Smedley told The Courier-Mail.
"I then dug around and removed a couple of rocks and then there was still no sign of it and I had all but given up … when I saw movement in the puddle and thought it was a toad but when I got close up it was the snake.
"I waited an hour for the puddle to go down a bit and saw more of his body I grabbed him. It took five hours."
He said the snake was about 1.8 metres long and was the longest he had caught in his five years as a professional snake catcher.
The extremely fit and healthy reptile was around seven to 10 years old and was relocated within a kilometre of the residence.
"You have to relocate them close because they know where to hunt … and taking them too far away is of no benefit to the snake because they have to start hunting from scratch and there are likely other snakes, so they can die," he said.
Mr Smedley said they preyed on rodents and helped control the population of rats and mice.
He said the charge to remove snake starts between $50 and $100 although some people even baulk at that.
"You have to keep your prices reasonable because not everyone wants to pay … seventy per cent of people who call want a free service and some them don't want to pay, they'd say they'd rather kill it."
- With the Courier Mail