A Queensland mother helped her toddler son collect the eggs of the world’s second-most deadly snake so he could watch them hatch, a wildlife carer says.
But when the deadly babies finally emerged — in the warm confines of the young boy’s wardrobe — the mother decided that perhaps it wasn’t such a hot idea after all.
The snakes, which hatched inside a sealed takeaway container, were surrendered on Monday to wildlife carers in Townsville.
North Queensland Wildlife Care reptile co-ordinator Trish Prendergast, who released the seven eastern browns, has a simple message for Australians.
‘‘Leave nature alone. This little boy was extremely lucky he didn’t get bitten,’’ she said.
Prendergast said it was very lucky that the mother realised the snakes had hatched before her curious little boy did, and before the snakes grew big enough to pop the lid off the container.
‘‘The little boy had found some eggs in the yard about three or four weeks ago, and asked his mum if he could keep them,’’ she said.
‘‘So she put them in a container, and taped it up and put it in his wardrobe.’’
Prendergast said it was illegal to interfere with protected wildlife, but the family would not face any charges.
‘‘I don’t know if she realised they were snake eggs or not,’’ she said.
‘‘She thought maybe it was a nice thing to do, to get the eggs and watch them hatch.’’
Prendergast said eastern browns were ‘‘born killers’’ and even as babies had enough venom to kill people, although their fangs were very small when they were young.
‘‘Still he’s a very lucky boy,’’ she said.
‘‘If he’d opened the container he might not be here today.’’