Slipping back to Stokers Siding
By Nadine Fisher
Esmerelda the three-metre-long coastal carpet python is set to make a full recovery after being severely injured on a property at Stokers Siding where the owner unknowingly slashed her while clearing long grass.
Esmerelda had been coiled around her clutch of about 30 eggs when the injury occurred.
Tweed Valley Wildlife Carers were contacted and the injured snake and eggs were taken into care.
Tweed Valley Wildlife Carer Sue Johnson, who has cared for numerous snakes and has had Esmerelda and her eggs for about six weeks, said she was very excited because the eggs were now hatching.
"This is the first time I have had to incubate eggs and to see them hatching is just wonderful," she said.
"Unfortunately due to Esmerelda's injury she has been unable to be in contact with her eggs - it's quite sad to see her looking down at them from her reptile house."
Ms Johnson said Esmerelda, who is around eight years old, initially had many broken and smashed ribs.
"She had to be put under anaesthetic and some of the smashed bones had to be pulled out. The wound was very close to her heart and a major vein had been severed," she said.
"She was quite aggressive and feisty initially when we were trying to dress the wound before taking her to the vet's she was trying to protect herself and her eggs.
"But now she is on antibiotics which are injected every second day and fluids and the wound has been partially stitched. Ms Johnson said incubating the eggs required constant warm temperature as well as humidity.
"Now the babies are nearly all out and are about one foot long. They will be released back onto the property at Stokers Siding," she said.
"It's really important for people to understand snakes are a part of our environment we live in and not to be too frightened of them.
"The snakes are out there for a purpose like all other animals."
King Street Animal Hospital veterinary surgeon Phil Taragel, who worked on Esmerelda, said they did get a few wild snakes at the hospital, but not a lot.
"It is difficult to work with them as it's not something you do all the time - so you may spend a little more time getting information about them.
"When I saw the snake's injuries I thought 'Oh my gosh, what are we going to do?' But she did really well and we expect her to make a full recovery."
For any wildlife emergencies contact Tweed Valley Wildlife Carers 24-hour line on (02) 6672 4789.