The last thing you want to wake up to in your birdcage

Snake catchers are urging animal lovers to snake proof their pet enclosures after several pets were devoured by 1.5m pythons in recent weeks.

In the Greater Brisbane region alone, several pet birds, guinea pigs and chooks have been taken by hungry serpents since the start of the year.

Josh Castle, 24, from Josh's Snake Catching and Relocation was called out to Kallangur, north of Brisbane, last month after a family discovered a coastal carpet python inside their birdcage, with one of their birds missing.

A Brisbane family recently woke to find their pet bird gone and a fat python resting in its place. Picture: Snake Catcher Brisbane – Josh's Snake Catching/Facebook
A Brisbane family recently woke to find their pet bird gone and a fat python resting in its place. Picture: Snake Catcher Brisbane – Josh's Snake Catching/Facebook

A Caboolture family lost two of their pet birds to another python in the same week.

Chooks are also a prize meal for pythons with several around the area being eaten.

"I received a call to North Lakes late last night for a snake that had killed their chicken," Mr Castle wrote on his Facebook page on January 28.

 

A python was caught after killing a chook but before it could eat it on Brisbane’s northside recently. Picture: Snake Catcher Brisbane – Josh's Snake Catching/Facebook
A python was caught after killing a chook but before it could eat it on Brisbane’s northside recently. Picture: Snake Catcher Brisbane – Josh's Snake Catching/Facebook

"Unfortunately there is nothing I could do for the chicken. But this is a good reason to try and promote "snake proofing" your chicken coops."

A lucky Goulbourn finch at North Lakes lived to tell the tale after a coastal carpet python was caught in the act of trying to get inside its cage on January 23.

Photos Mr Castle posted on his Snake Catcher Brisbane - Joshs Snake Catching Facebook page shows a large python on top of the finch's cage.

"The sneaky carpet python made his way inside and found the bird cage," he wrote above the photo.

"He was in full hunt mode, when I arrived, on top of the cage."

 

A coastal carpet python was caught in the act of eyeing off this pet finch. Picture: Snake Catcher Brisbane – Josh's Snake Catching/Facebook
A coastal carpet python was caught in the act of eyeing off this pet finch. Picture: Snake Catcher Brisbane – Josh's Snake Catching/Facebook

Glenn "Ozzie" Lawrence, 43, OzCapture Snake Relocations in Logan, south of Brisbane, has also had several recent call outs where pythons had consumed birds or "pocket pets" including a guinea pig from inside its hutch in Greenbank on February 1.

"The guinea pig got eaten in the morning and the python was stuck in the hutch itself, because it had eaten so much that it could not get back out through the wire," he said.

"The customer actually let the snake out because there was a second guinea pig in there."

Mr Lawrence said snake-proofing pet enclosures like aviaries or chicken coops could be as easy as adding flyscreen mesh to larger wire cages to fill in the gaps or using expanding foam.

"Expanda foam comes in an aerosol can and you can use it to fills up holes and block gaps that snakes can get in and out of," he said.

 

A coastal carpet python with a belly full of guinea pig in Greenbank on February 1. Picture: OzCapture Snake Relocations/Facebook
A coastal carpet python with a belly full of guinea pig in Greenbank on February 1. Picture: OzCapture Snake Relocations/Facebook

Mr Lawrence said pets get taken year-round, not just during "snake season."

"That can happen all year round if people are not snake-proofing property properly," he said.

"A snake can fit into something much smaller than itself. When you get a little hole, you can have a significantly larger python can get through it.

"It will eat one or two of things inside and then while it will sleep it off while it digests its, by either moving off or it will stay there where it can keep catching food."

Originally published as The last thing you want to wake up to in your birdcage