Carpet python drops in to visit officers at Springwood police station as mating season prompts safety warning from local catcher

Visitor: Glenn Lawrence with the carpet python at Springwood Police Station.

Visitor: Glenn Lawrence with the carpet python at Springwood Police Station.

A python was among the first visitors to a new officer on the Springwood police beat.

The snake, more than two metres long, crossed Springwood Road to visit Senior Constable Rob Whitehead at his new posting last week.

The visit came after an incident at Flagstone earlier this month when seven-year-old Maddison Oakes mistook a deadly eastern brown snake for her cat's tail.

Maddison calmly alerted her parents Kirsty Johnson and Josh Oakes, who searched the room before finding the snake in their bed.

Snake catcher Glenn Lawrence said it was the first job he has had to do at a police station.

The coastal carpet python was the most common snake Mr Lawrence, who operates OzCapture Snake Relocations, re-located or rescued.

Snakes on the move: Senior Constable Paul Whitehead was already making friends at his new posting.

Snakes on the move: Senior Constable Paul Whitehead was already making friends at his new posting.

He said they were often attacked by cats or dogs, run over on the road, trapped by fruit-tree netting or holed up in safe areas like car engine bays.

"There are more of them than you realise," Mr Lawrence said.

Mr Lawrence was on a job when he spoke to The Jimboomba Times, stalking a cunning eastern brown which had been seen mating on a Bannockburn property.

Three snakes had been seen in recent weeks at the same location, after the house had stood empty for 18 months.

"They become creatures of habit," Mr Lawrence said.

"They know where their food and water is coming from. They work out a routine."

He had caught two of the browns, and was working on the third.

"I don't think any snakes are dumb, but this one is very smart," Mr Lawrence said.

"He knows to hide in places like concrete slabs where he can't be caught. He is cunning."

With mating season at its height, Mr Lawrence urged people to brush up on their first aid knowledge in case they are bitten.

People should carry a bandage with them at all times in rural areas, and wear good boots and trousers.

If bitten, he said a bandage should be applied two the whole limb, with about as much pressure as you would wrap a sprained ankle. The limb should be then immobilised.

Snake venom does not travel through the bloodstream, despite the common myth.

"It goes through your lymphatic system," Mr Lawrence said.

"Even if you're heartbeat is going at 100 miles per hour, it's fine," he said.

"As long as you keep your limb still. If you go waving your arms around saying you've been bitten by a snake, you could shorten your life considerably."

It is illegal to harm snakes and other protected reptiles. That law, Mr Lawrence said, protected animals and humans.

"You always hear those stories of people trying to kill them with a shovel, and the snake moves quicker than the person with the shovel can," he said.

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