A slithery, chilling discovery at hatchery
WHEN Gary Sheridan trod into the hatchery at the Chinchilla Fishing and Restocking Club a fortnight ago, he made a discovery that would set some spines tingling.
Mr Sheridan, a long-time committee member, arrived to check on things and walked in to see "this big brown thing on the cement floor”.
"I thought 'gosh, what's this?',” Mr Sheridan recalled.
Turns out it was a snake skin - but not just any snake skin. The western brown snake was extraordinary large.
"I thought 'oh, I'll measure this snake and just see how he goes',” Mr Sheridan said.
"I had my tape measure there, he was hooked up onto the corner of a post - he had hooked his tail onto a steel hook and then shed himself out.
"Anyway, I took it out and I measured him there: He was nine foot, two inches long.”
For those unfamiliar with imperial measurements, that's roughly 280cm, nearly three metres long.
But although the skin was hard to miss, Mr Sheridan hasn't laid eyes on its original owner.
It certainly didn't take him long to warn the rest of the Fishing and Restocking Club but, to date, the snake has remained elusive.
"Whether he was still there or not, we don't know, I'm hoping he moved on. You would, wouldn't you?” he said.
For Mr Sheridan, it's an incredible discovery, beyond anything he'd seen before.
"This is a true brown snake, he hasn't got a black head and it is not a carpet snake, I know that because of the brown,” he said.
"I think some people may be interested in that sort of thing for a brown. I've never heard of anybody seeing a brown snake that big.”
With the surprise though Mr Sheridan has a healthy dose of wariness about the discovery.
"We're all being very cautious about it, just in case. Let's hope he's left.”