‘Abnormally large’ red-bellied black snake released at Lake Macquarie

“Heavy as”: Even catcher Geoff Delooze was surprised by the size of this snake. Photo: Newcastle and Hunter Animal Control NEWS-NCH Submitted photo from Geoff from Newcastle and Hunter animal control, largest red belly black snake has ever relocated from Cameron Park. Contact Phone 478043715.Copy pic from Phil Hearne Wednesday 1st October 2014. Photo: Phil Hearne PJH

A 2.5-metre red-bellied black snake captured in a Newcastle suburb has been successfully released into thick bushland at Lake Macquarie.

Snake catcher Geoff Delooze said the snake, which he estimated was between 15 and 20 years old, “should never see people again”.

He said “99.9 per cent” of the snakes he releases are only interested in getting away.

“Most of the time you barely see the tip of their tail before they bury into the undergrowth,” he said.

The Newcastle Herald reported earlier that the “abnormally large” and “heavy as” snake, which according to Mr Delooze weighed about 10 kilograms, was found hiding under an airconditioning unit at an engineering firm in Cameron Park.

Mr Delooze got the call to pick up the snake and couldn’t believe his eyes when he caught sight of the “ferocious eater”.

“I have to admit, it had me looking back at these people thinking ‘what the hell is this, my call out fee isn’t big enough for this’,” he said.

“I’ve been doing this for a few years now and that’s easily the biggest red belly I’ve ever come across,” he told the Herald.

The business backs onto bush and Mr Delooze believes the snake would have been disturbed by nearby road works.

He said red-bellied black snakes were the most common snake he captured, but they usually only reach about 1 to 1.5 metres.

“They normally don’t get to that [bigger] size because they either run into the end of a shovel or are the victim of road rage,” he said.

With the hotter months approaching Mr Delooze also had some bad news for those who would prefer to read about snakes rather than see them.

“It has been that dry up around the Hunter Valley, it’s going to be like one of those snake seasons from the old days. They love the heat and they love suburbia, it’s got everything they need.”

The Newcastle Herald

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