As It Happens

2 massive pythons fall though Australian man's ceiling

An Australian man immediately suspected snakes were the cause of a big hole in his kitchen ceiling, so he went looking. He found two very large coastal carpet pythons.

The male snakes may have been fighting over a female, says local snake catcher

One of the two coastal carpet pythons found in Daniel Tait's Brisbane house. (Brisbane North Snake Catchers & Relocation/Facebook)

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When Brisbane, Australia, resident David Tait returned home to find to a big hole in his ceiling, he knew it wasn't because of any recent storms or rain.

"He just knew straight away it was a couple of big couple snakes that he'd seen previously hanging around," Steve Brown of Brisbane North Snake Catchers and Relocation told As It Happens guest host Helen Mann.

"He knew they'd be in his house, so he went on the search to find them."

Tait found two coastal carpet pythons, Brown said, one under a cupboard near the front door and one in a back bedroom. He called Brown for help. 

Two snakes left behind this large hole in David Tait's kitchen ceiling in Brisbane, Australia. The coastal carpet pythons were likely fighting over a mate, according to snake catcher Steve Brown. (Brisbane North Snake Catchers and Relocation/Facebook)

One snake was 2.9 metres long, and weighed about 10 kilograms, while the other snake was just over 2.5 metres and about eight kilograms. 


"We have a lot of bush around here so you do see snakes,'' Tait told Today"But I'd never seen snakes of that size."

The pythons are non-venomous, according to Brown, and aren't aggressive.

"The only time they can be a little bit aggressive — well, I call it defensive — is if they've got a stomach full of food. Other than that, they're just a placid, harmless python that just continues doing what it does, and it doesn't really matter if people are watching it," he said. 

The snakes are common in the area where Tait lives.

A lot of carpet pythons that are seen, people like to have around their house. They don't mind that they're in their ceilings or anything like that because it's nature's rodent trap.​​- Snake catcher Steve Brown

"Statistically, one in three houses in Queensland, Australia, has one in their roof," Brown said.

Brisbane is the capital city of the state of Queensland.

"A lot of carpet pythons that are seen, people like to have around their house. They don't mind that they're in their ceilings or anything like that because it's nature's rodent trap," Brown said. "Rather than using poisons and that, they'd rather a snake in there."

Brown says he thinks it's likely the snakes crashed through Tait's ceiling due to a fight over a female, because it's breeding season. But he said he was unable to check the ceiling to see if there were any more snakes because there wasn't enough room to look.

The female could be outside by now, he said.

Brown said he collected the snakes simply by picking them up.

"I just pick them up, then just place them into a bag and they go into the bag themselves," he said. "Then just take the bag, take the snakes to a new habitat and relocate them."

Brown says he took the snakes about a kilometre up the road from Tait's house to a state forest, and released them.

The two coastal carpet pythons were relocated to a state forest close to the home where they were found. (Brisbane Snake Catchers and Relocation/Facebook)

Written by Andrea Bellemare. Interview produced by Kate Swoger. 

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