By Kimberley Nicoll
It’s a nightmare experience… Waking up to find a snake on the loose in your tent while camping.
In the case of nine-year-old Brisbane girl Gabby Pettigrew, it was almost a matter of strangulation when she woke to find a 2.5m python coiled around her on a family Easter camping trip.
Gabby’s father grabbed the snake by the jaw and wrenched its hold from her arm, before releasing it back into the bush.
Father and daughter both suffered bites and were treated in hospital.
Sydney snake handler Robert Ambrose, says the worst thing to do if you find a snake in your tent is to panic.
“The best thing you could do if in this situation is to remain calm,” he says.
“We have many snakes in Australia but the importance is to know they are often not an active species as in countries such as India where the snakes are ambush predators.”
“This means you should remain motionless as our species predominately react to movement.”
Rob’s tips if confronted by a snake while camping:
- Remain calm and still
- Slowly move away if possible
- Keep an eye on where the snake goes
- Get assistance