An Australian toddler had a lucky escape after collecting eggs from one of the world’s most deadly snakes and watching them hatch in his wardrobe, wildlife officials said Friday.
Kyle Cumming, 3, found the eggs from the eastern brown snake in the backyard of his Townsville home in Queensland state several weeks ago and took them inside, reportedly with the help of his mother.
But when the slithering mass of baby snakes — second only to the inland taipan as the most venomous on Earth — emerged inside a sealed takeaway container his mum decided enough was enough and called in the experts.
“This little boy was extremely lucky he didn’t get bitten,” North Queensland Wildlife Care reptile co-ordinator Trish Prendergast said as she released the seven reptiles into the wild.
Prendergast said that even as babies eastern browns had enough venom to kill people.
“If he’d opened the container he might not be here today,” she said.
Elsewhere, a childcare centre in the northern city of Darwin was forced to close Friday after a carpet python nested in the wall of a side room and gave birth to 23 babies.
“The babies went in one sack, while a bigger sack had to be fetched for the mum,” wildlife ranger Steve Coulson told the Northern Territory News after removing them.
Australia is home to 20 of the world’s 25 most venomous snakes, including the entire top 10.
According to official estimates there are about 3,000 snake bite cases in Australia every year, 300-500 of which require anti-venom treatment. An average of two prove fatal.