Snakes are often feared because of their creepy appearance and their scary poison that can strike anyone at any time. This time, however, a poor snake was seen struggling to get rid of small ticks pestering its body.
A Gold Coast snake catcher in Australia is getting a lot of attention online after rescuing a snake covered in more than 500 ticks as it was trying to drown them in a swimming pool.
Tony Harrison from Gold Coast and Brisbane Snake Catcher was called out to deal with the animal and live-streamed the whole thing on social media. Just a glance at the animal is enough to make you feel just creepy crawly. Some of the ticks are large and look like scales, while others are tinier and reminiscent of a deer tick you’d see in America.
According to Diply, the entire ordeal was live-streamed and Harrison could hardly contain his reactions: “He’s got hundreds of ticks on him. That’s why he’s in the water, he’s trying to drown them… I’ve never seen anything like this. I’ve done this for 26 years and this is the worst I’ve ever seen.”
The number of ticks the python, Nike, had on its body totaled 511 and it took vets an hour to remove them all. The python was being treated for an infection and it is likely how the ticks were able to overcome the animal: “We can’t help but wonder if the snake is already sick or old … they have lower immune response to parasites, so you do tend to find a lot of ticks on sick animals.”
Luckily, the snake is doing well now and should be a patient for a while:
“Nike is a little bit more sprightly today … [although] he does have an infection they’re treating him for and that’s probably why his health was compromised enough for ticks to get the better of him,”
The ticks on the snake were both male and female, with the males just waiting around for a female to show up for you know what. Most of the ticks weren’t there to eat, they were there to mate. They attach to the snake and then wait for a female to arrive: “For a male tick this is a disco or nightclub, they’re there waiting for females to attach and feed.”
Comments are pouring in on Gold Coast Snake Catcher’s Facebook post about this. One person said Nike has a huge fan club supporting him. However, there are also some people were seriously disturbed by the video. No one wants to see that many ticks first thing in the morning (or ever).
One thing is for sure watching that video will definitely trigger your creepy crawly feels, sending you itching at the slightest hint that there just might be a tick on you (there probably isn’t but it doesn’t hurt to check). Gold Coast posted this updated photo of Nike, with the caption: “Nike looks so much better thanks to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation.” It’s great to see him doing better!
We hope his recovery continues so that Nike live freely and away from all those creeping little things on his body.