Richie Gilbert had to rescue shoppers and this brown tree snake after it made its way into Caboolture Coles.
Richie Gilbert had to rescue shoppers and this brown tree snake after it made its way into Caboolture Coles. Richie Gilbert

Snake in shopping trolley causes stir at Caboolture Coles

A COLES Caboolture customer has had a shock after discovering a small Brown Tree Snake in their shopping trolley.

The woman alerted staff after finding the snake curled up in the trolley basket just off the supermarket's premises on Wednesday.

Sunshine Coast Snake Catcher Ritchie Gilbert was called in to help remove the mildly venomous reptile.

He said staff were "cool, calm and relaxed" and took photos while they waited for him to arrive.  

"They wouldn't allow the snake to shop alone and called me in to relocate it," he said.

"Security treated the snake like a VIP until [I] arrived.

"Although mildly venomous brown tree snakes are not regarded as dangerous and this one didn't put up much of a fight when I was untangling it from the trolley."    

Brown Tree Snake Richie Gilbert
Brown Tree Snake Richie Gilbert

Coles Caboolture store support manager Carlos Lakerdis said the discovery was unusual.

He said staff reacted with a mix of fear and curiosity.

"To my knowledge it's the first one," he said.

"It was a bit scary at first but no one was in danger.

"We clean trolleys out regularly... trolleys get checked every shift, every time they get collected."

Mr Gilbert said Brown Tree Snakes were a nocturnal species and were rarely seen, despite being fairly common in the Caboolture area.

The snake was released in bushland not too far away," he said.

"I told the snake to next time try coming through the delivery door out back."

Although mildly venomous, Brown Tree Snakes have their fangs set well back in their mouth.

Mr Gilbert said one would "have to have a real chew" to inject any venom.

"They aren't regarded as dangerous... they're not a scary snake by any means," he said.

The snake was released into nearby bushland.

A spokesperson for Coles took to Twitter to let the Daily know the situation ended with a good outcome for both the snake and staff. 

It's not the first brown tree snake to cause a stir this week. Mr Gilbert was called to help at a Sunshine Coast address when a young girl was bitten by one after it was handed to her by her father. 

Coles Supermarket Caboolture called me today to remove a snake from a trolley basket at their store!! They wouldn't...

Posted by Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7 on Wednesday, April 22, 2015