THIS eastern brown snake may look nice and maternal as she curls around her eggs, but don't be fooled.
The seven-year-old female snake named Mya lives at Snakes Downunder Reptile Park and Zoo and has had four clutches in the past.
Park owner Ian Jenkins said she laid 27 eggs this time and stayed with the eggs for about 15 minutes.
He said the park doesn't incubate the eggs as it was illegal to let them go into the wild and there wasn't a demand for the venomous serpent. "It's good for them to go through the stage of breeding, so we let her mate and lay eggs," he said.
"We have three resident eastern browns here, two males and one female."
Mr Jenkins said Mya was born at the reptile park about seven years ago and was kept in a display, along with one of the males.
"These snakes don't seem to have a problem living near one another - not like the mulga snake which would eat one another if kept together," he said.
He said this breed of snake was the most venomous in Australia and the second in the world.
"The eastern brown is responsible for the most deaths from snake bites in Australia," Mr Jenkins said.
"When you compare the amount of deaths from snake bite to deaths from people riding horses or bee stings, it's quite small."
Mr Jenkins said all the people who handled the snake at the park were experienced and trained in first aid.
"We don't actually keep anti-venom here so it's very important to be first aid trained," he said.
"By knowing how to use first aid correctly it will give you time to get the antivenom."
Mya's diet consisted of frozen rats or day old chickens which were thawed out.
"We don't feed the snakes live animals for a number of reasons," Mr Jenkins said.
"One is it's illegal and two is because the small mammals or bird may carry diseases and freezing them will kill them.
"And another is because the rat may inflict wounds if they bite the snakes, so we just don't do it."
For more information visit: http://www.snakesdownunder.com
Did You Know?
Although brown snakes are temperamental and dangerous creatures, they will always try to avoid a confrontation with humans if possible.
There is certainly no advantage for the snake in attacking something as large as a person so they will only do this as a last resort.
Given the opportunity, even brown snakes will flee rather than attack.
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