A Mackay pharmacy assistant got the shock of her life yesterday when one of the snakes in her pharmacy’s confectionery department turned out to be not a jelly snake, but a foot-and-a-half-long green tree snake.
Pharmacy manager at the Good Price Pharmacy Mackay, Michelle Bryse, says new pharmacy assistant Grace was stocking the shelves at 8.30 when she realised that the pharmacy had an unusual visitor.
“It was quite dark, and I think she thought it was a brown snake at first,” Bryse told the AJP. “She ran down and alerted us, and I got onto the phone and was referred to [snake catcher] Matt Moon, who came in literally within five minutes.
“The snake seemed a bit agitated, but he was probably just making a little home for himself and was upset,” says Bryse. “Who wouldn’t want to live in the confectionery section?
“We secured off the area – it was at the front corner of the shop behind the front counter, so it was pretty easy for a couple of us to stand there and see that it wasn’t going anywhere. I didn’t want anyone bitten on my watch.
“We’ve been reassuring everyone that it’s not a common occurrence, and as Grace is a new staff member, I had to say to her, ‘I promise you this has never happened before’!
“She did the right thing – contained it pretty quickly, and we watched it, from a distance, of course, to make sure it didn’t slither off anywhere so that we’d have to go and look for it.
“We’ve been cracking a few jokes about Snakes Alive.”
Bryse says that on a more serious note, it appears that this might be a big breeding season for snakes, and so the incident and others may be a timely reminder for Queenslanders to be aware of snake activity and how to handle coming across one.
Yesterday a couple were shocked as a snake appeared from their bonnet while they were driving near Mackay; and a man was taken by Queensland Ambulance to Mackay Hospital after being bitten.
— Queensland Ambulance (@QldAmbulance) September 12, 2016
“It’s good that word’s getting around that they may be out in force this year,” says Bryse.