December 21, 2012

Darwin childcare centre closed after carpet python snakes found (VIDEO)

IT WAS a case of snakes alive at a childcare centre in Darwin in the Northern Territory - 24 of them to be specific.

Mitchell St Childcare Centre is closed today thanks to, as the sign on the front door says, an "inundation" of snakes, the NT News reports.
Director Louise DeBomford yesterday afternoon said 41 egg shells, 23 babies and one none-too-pleased 2.5m mum had so far been found.

Seven deadly snakes found in bedroom of boy, three

The NT carpet python had set up a cosy nest in the wall of a little side room.

Mum Stephannie Dean, 41,and her two sons Carlos, 4, and Benji, 2 have a look as wildlife ranger Steve Coulson takes hold of a 2.5 metre NT carpet python at Mitchell St Childcare Centre in Darwin.
"There was a baby snake in the room yesterday morning - I thought there would have to be more than one because we had an inundation of snakes last year, about the same time," Ms DeBomford said.

"We had about 14 then.

"This morning there were seven - all babies - about 15cm to 30cm."

Darwin council owns the building and sent two bold-hearted contractors - Michael Stefanidakis and Markis Pilatos drew the short straw - to investigate.

"They made an executive decision that the best way to deal with it was pull the panels off the wall. They found the nest and mum," Ms DeBomford said.

Wildlife ranger Steve Coulson was called in to do the honours.

The eggs were the size of plums, and were in clumps like grapes. The babies went in one sack, while a bigger sack had to be fetched for the snaky mum.

A 2.5 metre NT Carpet Phythons invaded the Mitchell St Childcare Centre in Darwin and has been having babies inside the walls. 
Parents, who were arriving at home time to pick up young tots, crowded around the doorway to the room.

There was lots of squealing, laughing, running about and taking photos (the parents), and one offer to hold a snake (a toddler).

Mr Coulson said the baby pythons were "pretty harmless".

He said even if the snakes did bite, their bite marks would be pin pricks that only needed to be disinfected.

The big ones though, he said, could deliver a "decent sort of gash" but were non-venomous.

He said carpet pythons were common around Darwin, and often found food and shelter in roofs.

"They eat possums and rats," he said.

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