DEADLY VISITOR: 1.8m Coastal Taipan claims family pet
A RARE and deadly coastal taipan was found in a suburban backyard near Hervey Bay on Monday after the family's dog was bitten and killed.
The 1.8m reptile was the first wild taipan expert snake catcher Samuel Hunt had relocated on the Fraser Coast.
He said veteran snake catcher Roy McGrath had only caught about six during his 30-year career.
"They are all the way down to NSW, but it was super rare finding one, I've wanted to find one for years,” Mr Hunt said.
"They are a very intelligent snake and they know to keep away from us.
"Generally, when they sense our presence, they disappear before we even see them.
"The only reason we caught this one is because the backyard was completely sealed, it had a gate out the back and the snake had no option of escape... and became defensive and that's why it bit the dog in the yard.”
The third deadliest snake in the world, Mr Hunt said the coastal taipan was the longest and most dangerous on the Fraser Coast due to its speed.
"We don't really like to put dangerous and snake together, but it is because of its flightiness and how quickly they will defend themselves if startled.
"The venom they have is an incredibly fast-acting neurotoxin... it's built to shut down mammals.
"They usually eat large rats and bandicoots that have pretty gnarly teeth so they need to immobilise them pretty quickly, that's why their venom affects us so much because we're mammals too.”
To survive a bite from a coastal taipan, Mr Hunt said knowing the correct first aid, and the diference between this species and eastern browns bettered your chances along with advances in medical science. But most importantly, stay clear in the first place.
"If you walk out into your backyard and see one, back away from it. Don't try and get closer to it, don't try and have a look to see what it is, just leave it alone, and if you need it relocated, call a licenced professional to do it.”