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Baby sharks to pool pythons – tails of the unexpected from crazy online world

It seems our reptiles are basking in the final throes of summer – but it’s still best to keep an eye on your fluffy friends, writes Rebecca Levingston

A tale of two snakes… from two siblings.

My brother and I both had reptile visitors this Summer.
Now Autumn has arrived, it seems right share them as cautionary tales. Tails?!

Me first.

Pythons, it turns out, are very good swimmers.

I recently discovered this snake fact because a coastal python slipped into my swimming pool on a hot Saturday afternoon. He slid in (or she – I didn’t look that closely) diamond-shaped head first and sashayed across the water effortlessly. Much to the delight of my children (and despair of my husband) who were watching from just outside the pool gate, our reptilian mate seemed right at home creating s-shaped waves in our little pool. We videoed the snake swim because that’s what you do in 2023.

That bloody snake, has become the most watched piece of content connected to me. Despite my years of radio and dedicated column inches, a silly little snake video has been watched more than anything I’ve ever done.

My snake… pic.twitter.com/4gKNXhGcPB

— Rebecca Levingston (@reblev) February 28, 2023

545,000 views
4500 emoji reactions

Now I (almost) know how Harry Styles feels.

Shared across various media platforms including ABC, commercial TV, countless shares online. It wasn’t even a good a video in my opinion. When I got contacted by a global media agency asking to arrange a publishing deal, I thought they were joking. Fear not, I haven’t become a millionaire snake influencer, I think they snap up viral videos just in case. Who’d have thought “Charlie bit my finger” would change the virtual world?

The world’s most watched video on YouTube is Baby Shark. 12.37 billion views. It was first uploaded in June of 2017 and was the first video to crack 10 billion views. Gangnam Style was the first video to hit one billion views. Humans are are so weirdly distractible.

Meanwhile, our snake was eventually captured when we called a bloke (who got bitten) popping the 2 metre python into a takeaway sack. Perhaps the snake didn’t want to get out of the pool… like a Queensland kid having a summer’s day dunk.

Later that afternoon, my brother visited and I showed him the video. He rolled his eyes when we said we’d called in the snake catcher. My brother is very much a nature lover. However, that’s where things take a turn.

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Less than 24 hours later, my brother had his own python encounter. He discovered a huge snake coiled up at his front door. She (or he) was clinging to the wrought iron like a reptilian Christmas wreath. Deathly still and scaly. My brother thought she was beautiful and let her stay. He checked the family guinea pigs and went to bed.

Meanwhile at my brother’s house… 🐍 pic.twitter.com/mhLg7jLych

— Rebecca Levingston (@reblev) February 28, 2023

A few days later after my snake video went viral, I asked my brother to send me the video he’d taken at his place.

Sure, he said. Did you hear what happened after the video?

No… I texted him back. Tell me.

“Oh god. It got stuck in our roof and died. Rotten possum wrapped in rotting snake. Worst smell ever. Had to unbolt the gutter and drag it out with a shovel. I was retching.”

A hungry, sleepy snake who ate too much and got stuck. A cautionary tale indeed.

No need for gruesome video evidence. Just the thought of that stench is stomach turning.

Perhaps a call to the snake catcher next time? At least the guinea pigs are fine… for now.

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