Deadly snake removed from Queensland hospital after bite patient brought it home

A snake catcher was forced to remove a deadly snake from a Queensland hospital after a bite victim, against all known advice, took it away.

Drew Godfrey of Hervey Bay Snake Catchers was called to Hervey Bay Hospital last Friday night when staff reported what they believed to be a young black snake with a red belly.

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A man who was bitten by the snake put it in a plastic container and took it with him to the hospital when he sought treatment.

Godfrey says the move goes against his advice – and that of Queensland Health.

“The hospital probably has the same duty of care that I do, which is to tell people never to touch them because that’s the best way not to get bitten,” Godfrey told

The experienced snake catcher also said the victim was mistaken in believing a red belly was black.

The victim took the snake to the hospital in a plastic container. Credit: Hervey Bay Snake Catcher

He said the snake is an eastern small-eyed snake that is described as extremely venomous.

“A red belly probably won’t kill anyone,” Godfrey said.

“It’s more likely – an untreated bite – to be necrotic and you could lose a thumb, for example, than it will kill you.

“An eastern small-eyed snake, an untreated bite has caused at least one death, while red-bellied black snakes have never killed anyone.

“So it’s fair to say that eastern small-eyed snakes are significantly more venomous than red-bellied black snakes.”

Unknown to the victim, the snake was a deadly eastern small-eyed snake. Credit: Hervey Bay Snake Catcher

The patient has recovered from the bite and has been discharged from the hospital.

Advice on a Queensland Health website confirms that people should not catch snakes and take them to hospitals.

Hospital staff don’t need to know the identity of the snake species to treat patients, it said.

“Don’t try to identify, capture, harm, or kill the snake — you’ll likely come second best,” the website advises.

“At the hospital, staff have access to a range of tests that can help them determine the likely snake you were bitten by and allow them to give you the most appropriate treatment.”

“endangers others”

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service confirmed that the patient brought the snake with him to the emergency room.

“We would like to warn community members of the risk of snakebite and encourage them to minimize it by ensuring they do not pick up or handle snakes unless they are professionals and that it involves a snake if they do.” Coming to hospital is not necessary and can actually endanger others,” spokesman Ben Ross-Edwards told

“WBHHS urges the community to exercise caution to avoid being bitten by snakes and to provide vital first aid in the event of a snake bite.

“Where possible, people with a suspected or known snakebite should seek medical attention as soon as possible after the bite.”

Harrowing snake bite for tourists on K’gari Island in Queensland.

Harrowing snake bite for tourists on K’gari Island in Queensland. Deadly snake removed from Queensland hospital after bite patient brought it home

James Brien

James Brien is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. James Brien joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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