A school girl in Australia was shocked after she tried to retrieve her lunch in her Harry Potter Gryffindor backpack, but instead a red-bellied black snake sliding across her hand.
The student at Augusta State School in a suburb of Brisbane alerted her teacher, who zipped up the backpack’s front pocket before calling a professional snake catcher on Tuesday.
Snakecatchers Brisbane staffer Lana Field said the sub-adult snake was about 60 centimetres long.
“Nobody has died from a red-bellied black snake bite in Australia, but their venom can lead to serious sickness. Red-bellied black snakes love hiding in dark holes, it was probably attracted to the dark colour of the young girl’s Harry Potter Gryffindor backpack”
Some social media users have however taken the opportunity to make some fun and invoke a pop culture reference – with the serpent being the emblem for Slytherin – from the popular Harry Potter book and movie series.
“Bloody Slytherins, get out of the Gryffindor common room,” Isobel Roe said on the Brisbane Snakecatcher’s Facebook page.
“We do get calls about snakes from school but they are usually in classrooms, not inside backpacks,” Erin McNamara from Snake Catchers Brisbnae told dpa.
“We have been getting 10-20 calls every day.”
The red-bellied black is a venomous snake found in eastern Australia. They can be as long as 2 meters and while its bite is not fatal, they can cause significant illness, including muscle and nerve damage.
They have been responsible for 16 per cent of snakebite victims, according to the Australian Snakebite Project.
The Authorities have however deployed the state fumigation center to carry out extensive fumigation of the school surrounding and they also implored parents and guardians to always ensure that their kids’ backpacks and other school stationery are well checked and confirmed to be safe before sending the children to school.