NSW bushwalker unknowingly catches venomous snake near Hill Top to show his children, ends up in hospital

A NSW bushwalker has become violently ill after being bitten by a snake that he believed wasn’t venomous while catching it to bring home to show his children.

Southern Highlands snake catcher Ray McGibbon said he was called by Bowral Hospital staff to identify a snake that had bitten a man who was vomiting on Friday.

“He’s not feeling the best. He’s been throwing up for two to three hours. His hand’s all swollen,” McGibbon said in a video on his Facebook page.

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According to McGibbon, the man believed the snake was a non-venomous diamond python when he found it among rocks while hiking near Hill Top.

“So he picked it up and brought it home to show his kids,” he said.

“The nurse has sent me a photo and lo and behold, the guy has been bitten by a broad-headed snake.”

The man recovered in the hospital, according to McGibbon.

But it could have “ended up a lot worse”, the seasoned reptile handler said, with some bites by the snake requiring tiger snake anti-venom.

He pointed out the broad-headed snake is in the same family (elapid) as the two most venomous snakes in the world, the inland taipan and eastern brown.

Having spoken with the man, McGibbon said he was “feeling a little bit worse for wear” and also “feels a bit silly”.

McGibbon identified the snake as a venomous broad-headed snake. Credit: Southern Highlands Snake Catcher
The snake bite the man on the hand. Credit: Southern Highlands Snake Catcher

“It could have ended up a lot worse — the kids could have gotten bitten,” he said.

“He knows he’s done wrong. I don’t need to give him a lecture over it.”

In a later video showing him removing the snake from the man’s home, McGibbon pointed out the snake and diamond pythons “look very similar, in colour and patterning”.

The snake has been returned to its habitat.

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