Boa constrictor 'at large' in western Sydney after huge snake skin found

Residents warned following discovery of ‘freshly shed’ skin at the Cascades Estate in Silverdale

Biosecurity officers were combing a western Sydney suburb where an adult boa constrictor was believed to be “at large” on Monday after the discovery of a huge, “freshly shed” snake skin.

It was feared the dangerous snake was roaming the Cascades Estate residential complex in Silverdale.

The skin was found at a construction site on Wednesday and the New South Wales government wrote to residents on Friday to warn them.

The South American snake, which grows to an average of 3m – is illegal to keep in Australia outside zoos, and can kill people and animals by strangulation.

“NSW government has reason to believe there is an adult boa constrictor snake ‘at large’ in or around the Cascades Estate,” the letter said.

“A freshly shed snake skin was found at a property on Torumba Circuit on 9 October 2019, NSW government is in the process of trying to locate and capture the animal and is requesting the residents be on the lookout for it and to report any sightings.”

this is supposedly the skin left over pic.twitter.com/BlKz666FfM

— camwilson 👋 (@cameronwilson) October 14, 2019

On Monday, the government said biosecurity officers were “currently working to locate and capture the animal”.

Residents were told to “observe and, if possible, photograph the animal. If it is moving try and watch where it goes. Do not make contact with the animal.”

The NSW Department of Primary Industries said the boa constrictor was “considered to be one of the world’s largest snake species”.

The snake is not venomous, but constricts and suffocates its prey.

The constrictor is classified as a threat to humans, especially small children, as well as pets. They are native to central America and carry viruses that are fatal to native snakes, who do not have resistance.

If officers found the snake, they would employ a licensed snake catcher to snare it and transport it to a specialist veterinarian, the government said.

“The snake will be examined to determine where it came from, how long it has been in the area, what it has been eating, whether it’s carrying any diseases of concern and whether it has produced offspring,” they said.

Contributor

Naaman Zhou

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Snake shocks Sydney shoppers by slithering along supermarket spice shelf
Shopper Helaina Alati, who happens to be a former snake catcher, was luckily on hand to return the three-metre python to nearby bushland

Rafqa Touma

17, Aug, 2021 @9:06 AM

Article image
Clever cockatoos learn to open Sydney wheelie bins and drink from bubblers
Sulphur-crested cockatoos’ ‘novel behaviour’ in Australia’s urban environments is being mapped by researchers

Lisa Martin

02, Sep, 2019 @6:04 AM

Article image
'Snake egg' mystery leaves experts scrambling after Australian school's discovery
Wildlife rescuers retrieve 43 eggs believed to be from of one of the world’s most venomous snakes from school’s sandpit

Michael McGowan

02, Jan, 2018 @8:27 AM

Article image
Venomous tropical sea snakes wash up on Australian beaches after storms
Wild weather brings the yellow-bellied sea snakes, which are normally entirely aquatic and highly venomous, on to New South Wales beaches

Elle Hunt

07, Jan, 2016 @5:11 AM

Article image
‘Certainly life-threatening’: 80-year-old Australian survives 30-minute boat ride with tiger snake
Fisherman Bob Thatcher was a long way from shore when he noticed a one-metre tiger snake was sharing his tiny tinnie

Graham Readfearn

03, May, 2021 @8:17 AM

Article image
Buck naked: nude sunbathers fleeing deer fined for breaking Sydney lockdown
Police fined two men $1,000 each after helicopter and rescue crew sent to help the pair who became lost in bushland after wildlife encounter

Mostafa Rachwani

28, Jun, 2021 @3:08 AM

Article image
Yet another deadly snake species discovered in Australia
Scientists describe the highly camouflaged Kimberley death adder, native to Western Australia, as one of the world’s most venomous snakes

Oliver Milman

16, Sep, 2015 @5:54 AM

Article image
Cockatoos in Sydney learning from each other to bin-dive for food, study finds
Sulphur-crested cockatoos’ ability to pry open bins has spread across 44 suburbs in only two years

Donna Lu

22, Jul, 2021 @6:00 PM

Article image
Bee sting twice as likely to land Australians in hospital than encounter with venomous wildlife
Study finds five in 100,000 Australians taken to hospital for bee and wasp stings, twice the rate for spiders and snakes

Calla Wahlquist

02, Mar, 2021 @4:30 PM

Article image
Snake found on Qantas plane at Sydney airport, forcing delay

Hundreds of passengers spend night in hotel after Mandarin rat snake discovered before Tokyo flight begins boarding

Helen Davidson

23, Sep, 2013 @5:52 AM