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Local grandfather, Harold Page (90) has severely downplayed the danger of an Eastern Brown Snake finding its way into his backyard, during a family get together in his semi-rural Betoota Downs home.
The late afternoon lunch was briefly interrupted by a series of screams from the mums and aunties, who moved quickly to swoop up any children who found themselves within striking distance of the extremely venomous native reptile.
However, the man of the house seemed unperturbed, and even gave out a bit of a chuckle at the height of this very warranted panic.
Considered the second-most venomous terrestrial snake in the world, behind only the Inland Taipan, The highly aggressive Eastern Brown is responsible for more deaths from snakebite in Australia than any other species.
The immediate onset of snakebites symptoms can be rapid, with the best cast scenario being clotting abnormalities within 30 minutes. However, collapse has been recorded as occurring as little as two minutes after being bitten. Without appropriate antivenom, victims face near certain death due to cardiovascular causes such as cardiac arrest or intracranial haemorrhage.
Harold knows all of this, but for whatever reason, is not that fussed about the very real possibility of one of his immediate relatives being bitten in his own backyard.
The harshness of his wartime upbringing in wartime Australia was articulated to the entire family, as it became clear that pop viewed this potentially catastrophic moment as a bit of fun.
“Haha watch out” says pop, as camping chairs and picnic blankets fly across the backyard.
“They’re nasty buggers those ones [grandfatherly chuckle]”
Thankfully, one of Harold’s granddaughter’s is dating a bloke name Elijah, who works as an arborist.
Elijah, the only person in the vicinity who shares pop’s amusement in the whole ordeal, swiftly grabs up the Eastern Brown by it’s tail and swings it’s skull directly into a gum tree.
“Nicely down young fella” says Pop, whose heart rate has still not lifted from 60 beats per minute.
“Glad I didn’t have to get the shovel”
Elijhah lightens the mood by pretending to throw the lifeless snake into Harold’s lap.
“Haha classic.” says Pop.
“I like this bloke”