Aussie Snake Catcher Finally Grabs 'Houdini' Brown Snake at Queensland Retirement Home

An Australian snake catcher finally managed to corner “Mr Houdini”, an eastern brown snake that had previously evaded capture multiple times at a Queensland retirement community.

Footage by Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7 shows Stuart McKenzie driving to a retirement community in Palmwoods, Queensland. McKenzie says they are headed out to attempt to catch a large snake, nicknamed “Mr Houdini” for its ability to evade capture.

Upon arrival McKenzie is led to where the snake was last seen. He is able to jump in and grab it from a garden bed and shimmy it into a bag. The snake was then released back into the wild.

McKenzie estimated that the snake was 1.5-1.8 meters long. Credit: Stuart McKenzie via Storyful

Video transcript

STUART MCKENZIE: Just about to pull up at a place, at a retirement village, where there's a 1.5, 1.8, maybe, meter a brown snake. We've called him Mr. Houdini, because myself and a few of the other team members have been out here probably two or three times. And each time, he sits on top of this massive retaining wall, where there's holes and gaps everywhere.

It's really overgrown, and he just darts straight down into it, before we can even get within meters. So I have to do a bit of a sneak up on him and then kind of jump into the garden. I've only got about a meter to work with, but hopefully, we can catch him this time.

- Yeah. You can see him on the wall.

STUART MCKENZIE: Just stay there for a sec. Oh, OK. Yeah.

- His head's on the top of that [INAUDIBLE].

STUART MCKENZIE: Which way is he facing?

- He's facing me.

STUART MCKENZIE: Facing you. Yeah. Just what-- yeah. Don't move too much. Sorry.

- I tell you what, I'll be standing--

STUART MCKENZIE: Usually goes that way.

- Yeah.

STUART MCKENZIE: Oh, yeah, I see his head. [INAUDIBLE] be warm by now.


- Yeah, so he'd be nice and warm.

STUART MCKENZIE: All right. OK. Where are you going? Which way you going? [GRUNTS]

- Oh, you good fella.

STUART MCKENZIE: Oh, you ripper. Hold on. Let me just get out of here first.

- He's a big fella.

STUART MCKENZIE: He's big all right. Oh. All right. Chuck us the handle then, [? Fin. ?]

- Yeah, there you go, Stuart.

STUART MCKENZIE: Beautiful. Have a go at that. We've been trying to get this snake for weeks. There's a big snake. In you go in the bag. In you go.


STUART MCKENZIE: Yeah. He's an eastern brown snake. Oh. Well, that hurt my shoulder.

- That is well done, what he done [INAUDIBLE].

STUART MCKENZIE: How good was that, eh? Huge brown snake from a retirement village in Palmwoods who is very keen to come back out. But as you can see, like when we're walking in to a situation like that, we're not just thinking about a brown snake. We're thinking about the small little area that we've got to deal with. We're thinking about you could see when I went in, there's probably only a meter of garden bed.

What you couldn't see was there was probably around a 4 or 5 meter drop off that big retaining wall, which I had to think about as well. But thankfully, we were able to get him, but I'll get this snake back in the bush where it belongs. See if you'll let me pick you up.

Oh, look at the size of this snake. All right, buddy, off you go. Back in the bush where you belong. There he goes.

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