Giant python found in Ballina backyard as snake season ramps up

WHAT A BEAUTY: Bridget Thomson of Ballina's Wildlife Twins with the giant Coastal Carpet Python

WHAT A BEAUTY: Bridget Thomson of Ballina's Wildlife Twins with the giant Coastal Carpet Python

Bridget Thomson was out working in the dingo enclosure at her Cumbalum home last year when she spotted something unusual.

"I thought 'gee that's a big log down on the road,'" she said.

On closer inspection she discovered the biggest Coastal Carpet Python she'd ever seen - and as one half of Ballina wildlife education duo, The Wildlife Twins - she's seen a few.

It was just under three metres long, and weighed in at more than 10 kg.

"He was as big as my thigh. It gave you anaconda feelings," she said.

"He was as big as my thigh. It gave you anaconda feelings."

Bridget Thomson

At the weekend, Bridget got a call from local snake relocator Jack Hogan, aka Snake Catcher Northern Rivers, who thought he might have found the same snake.

A family who lived just two minutes from Bridget's had called him to relocate a massive python from their backyard. They had a small dog and were concerned for its safety.

He called Bridget to come and have a look, and although they initially thought it was the same one, the markings were slightly different.

Jack said it was heavier too: "It was definitely 11-12 kg. It was giving me a bit of a sore back by the end."

Bridget said she was thrilled to see another python of a similar size in the space of 12 months.

"It's fantastic. You just don't often get to see them that big, they don't often live to the age where they get to that size."

The giant python Bridget found last year

The sighting comes as snake season ramps up across the Northern Rivers region, and breeding season begins.

"We moved four browns, two red bellies and a couple of pythons yesterday and that's about what we're doing every day," said Jack, who runs a 24 hour rescue and relocation service.

Jack also offers a snake ID service for those wondering whether the snake in their backyard is venomous or harmless.

Snake season reminders

  • Snakes are more defensive and territorial during the spring so give them a wide berth.
  • Many people pass close to snakes every day but because snakes are so afraid of us and prefer to stay out of our way, we never notice.
  • Discourage snakes by keeping your lawn neat and disposing of excessive leaf litter and other garden waste.
  • Conflict generally occurs because the snake cannot make a quick exit. Never try to catch or kill a snake.
  • A resident carpet python can be a benefit: it will easily keep rodents in check!
  • Source: WIRES Northern Rivers