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Lifting the lid on life's little problems

27 April 2015

This is what Sarah Groves discovered one night when visiting the bathroom at her home in Jabiru. This is what Sarah Groves discovered one night when visiting the bathroom at her home in Jabiru.

By Mark Coddington

WHEN Sarah Groves answered the call of nature one night, she got a lot more “nature” than she bargained for. Sarah had the displeasure of discovering a two-metre olive python lying in wait, coiled up in the water in her toilet bowl.

“It was about 8.30 at night, and I was going to the loo before bed, and yeah – I just turned on the light and there was a HUGE snake,” Sarah told The Wire. “It must have come up through the pipes, so look out – it can happen!”

Sarah, who lives in Jabiru, has seen frogs in her toilet before, and figures the snake must have been following them, chasing a late-night snack. With a 6-month-old baby in the house, Sarah was naturally concerned by the turn of events.

“I went to see my husband Josh, and we had a few words,” she said. Josh, who is a policeman in Jabiru, then had a few words with the local constabulary, but they were unable to assist in the matter.

“In the end we called on our neighbours, (Kakadu Park Ranger) Freddy Hunter and Ambrose Dann, who came over with a pole to try to get the snake out of the toilet,” Sarah said. However the snake was right onto this ruse, and disappeared straight back down the pipe, leaving Freddy and Ambrose unable to coax it out.

“So we put a weight on the lid, closed the door, and went to bed,” Sarah said. “I woke up early, but I wasn’t game to go into the toilet, so I waited for Josh to get up.” When they finally opened the door, they found the python curled up in the corner. “He had knocked the weight off, and dislodged the louvers trying to get out of the window, and knocked a few things over,” Sarah said. “He was 7 or 8 feet long, and I’ve heard they can reach up almost to their own height.”

Freddy and Ambrose were again called to the rescue, and this time they were successful in capturing and removing the beast.

The non-venomous olive python is Australia’s second-largest snake species, with adults growing up to 4m in length. It is usually found near sources of water, and is often confused with the venomous king brown, and killed as a result.