Big dugite gives fright in Canning Vale

Steve Smartt and the “monstrous” dugite. Picture: Jon Hewson        www.communitypix.com.au   d445683
Steve Smartt and the “monstrous” dugite. Picture: Jon Hewson        www.communitypix.com.au d445683

A GUT decision to travel outside his usual patch brought a local reptile handler face to face with a “monster” snake.

Steve Smartt received a distress call from a family in Canning Vale who had spotted the snake nestled between wood in its carport.

The Spearwood resident would not usually travel that far east but said his gut told him the encounter would be worth it.

Despite more than two decades of experience, Mr Smartt said the 1.8m dugite that confronted him was one of the scariest things he had ever faced.

“If I had seen this in my garden even I would have freaked out,” he said.

“It was absolutely monstrous.”

Mr Smartt said bagging the snake for relocation was relatively easy, but it perked up significantly on the drive back.

“It was pretty easy to catch. I thought it might be sick because it wasn’t moving that much,” he said.

“But then on the way back the bag began to move and the snake became more active.

“It became pretty angry. They all are when they feel threatened.”

He said he knows exactly where he will put the snake: “Right in the middle of the regional park in Henderson – smack bang in the middle”.

The capture was the beginning of an unusual 24 hours for Mr Smartt, who was called to move a dugite just off Fremantle’s Cappuccino Strip.

“I didn’t believe the caller at first. It’s the first time in 22 years I’ve seen a dugite there,” he said.