Snake catcher says brown snake intruder 'very rare'

BENDIGO snake catcher George Moore says it's unbelievably rare for a brown snake to wander into a home and crawl onto someone's stomach.

That's what happened to John Watson, who was woken by the world's second most venomous snake at his home near Raywood.

Mr Moore said the brown snake was likely on the hunt for food.

He said in his 15 years as a snake catcher he had never heard of a situation like it.

"It's unbelievable that it crawls up and goes up to that guy's chest and that he wakes up at that moment," he said.

"I've never seen or heard anything like that in my life.

"It's very rare."

Mr Moore said the snake may have been curious or may have been searching for mice.

"I have no idea why the snake has gone into the house. It has no interest in humans, it's only interested in mice, that would be the only reason it was in the house."

Mr Moore said brown snakes were the most commonly sighted snakes in Bendigo. He said he received about six calls a week to collect snakes, almost all for brown snakes.

"You get them all over, out of the city, in the city... I've been called to big snakes in toilet bowls, en-suite bathrooms, gardens."

Mr Moore has been bitten twice - once by a seven foot brown snake that got him on the neck but did not release venom.

"The other one was on the finger," he said.

"There was venom present in that one but I didn't go to the hospital. It wasn't that much. And I knew by the way I felt I thought 'oh it's okay'."

He said in "about 70 per cent" of cases snakes did not release venom in their bites. He said he recommended anyone that is bitten to contact triple-0.

A state government report on the 'guidelines for the management of snake bites in emergency departments' listed the brown and tiger snakes as the two most venomous snakes in Victoria.

The report said about 600 people are bitten by snakes in Australia each year, with between 200 and 500 of those needing treatment with anti-venom. On a positive note it did say 'deaths are very rare'. 

Anyone who spots a snake in Bendigo should call Mr Moore on 0428 195 941.

The Victorian Poisons Information Centre can be contacted on 13 11 26.

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