Gold Coast and Brisbane Snake Catcher / Facebook / ABC

Python Covered In Over 500 Ticks Was Caught Trying To Drown Them In A Swimming Pool

Andrew Roberts 11 Jan 2019

A Gold Coast snake catcher in Australia was called out for quite the discovery recently, rescuing a snake covered in 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 on Thursday to deal with the animal and livestreamed the whole thing, adding:

"Look at the ticks on him. Jesus Christ"

That's A Lot Of Ticks

Gold Coast and Brisbane Snake Catcher / Facebook

Just a glance at the animal and you just feel 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.

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Live Streamed

Gold Coast and Brisbane Snake Catcher / Facebook

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."

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Gold Coast and Brisbane Snake Catcher / Facebook

The amount 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,"

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Snake Is Fine

Gold Coast and Brisbane Snake Catcher / Facebook

Luckily the snake is doing well now and should be a patient for a while -- possibly the end of its life it is older:

"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.

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There to Mate


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."

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Fan Club

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.

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Making New Fans

Even people who wouldn't classify themselves as snake fans are rooting for Nike's recovery. Even reptiles deserve a second chance!

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Nightmare Fuel

However, some people were seriously disturbed by the video. No one wants to see that many ticks first thing in the morning (or ever).

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Creepy Crawly

One thing is for sure: 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).

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Other people were eager to thank Gold Coast Snake Catchers for all they do to help save endangered snakes.

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Too Much Attention

The story of Nike has been covered worldwide, which is a good thing for Gold Coast's business. But on the other hand, they have complained on Facebook that media is calling them all hours and waking up their family.

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So Much Better


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!

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It's not just Australians who have been touched by this story. People from all over the world have been commenting on Gold Coast's Facebook page, like this woman from Brazil who reminds us that all animals are worth saving.

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Truly Shocking

Sometimes, the only response that you can have to a situation like this is a gif. It really says so much.

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Get Well Soon, Nike!

Still, no matter how terrifying the situation, it's safe to say that we're all wishing Nike a swift recovery and a tick-free life from now on.

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