An emotional Gary Hodgkinson thought he had lost his mate Tilly when a brown snake wrapped itself around the dog’s neck.
Gary and the five-year-old mini English staffy were walking along the Forster side of the breakwall when the snake darted out from the rocks.
It seemed to be making a bee-line for Tilly, a shaken Gary said.
“It came out at an impressive pace and then wrapped itself around her neck,” he said.
“I couldn’t even see her collar.”
In a split second of screaming for help, yelling and running to Tilly’s aid the snake let go and slithered back into the rocks.
But, then decided to return and have another go at the now hysterical dog who had broken free from Gary’s grip on her lead.
“I thought she was going to die,” Gary said.
Tilly landed two bite marks into the snake’s neck before Gary got a hold of the dog and ran to the beach to examine her for any signs of puncture wounds.
“It was the biggest snake I have ever seen, and I have seen a lot over the years,”
I thought she was going to die
Gary said the snake was longer than the width of the footpath.
After ensuring Tilly hadn’t been bitten the pair returned to the scene where the exhausted snake lay on the side of the footpath sporting a set of puncture marks from Tilly’s teeth.
Great Lakes snake expert, John Smith said it was extremely unusual for a brown snake – or any snake – to attack.
The dog probably walked too close to the snake and startled it, John said.
“If you were 10 feet away the snake couldn’t see you,” he said.
John said he had never heard of a brown snake wrapping itself around prey.
“They usually bite and release.
“Unless the dog has grabbed the snake first.”
Following Gary and Tilly’s close encounter it is a timely reminder not to approach snakes.
“Just leave them alone,” John warned.
The best thing to do is stand still and let it go about its business, he said.