How family fought off snake wrapped around son
A PLASTIC platypus and some quick thinking from a naked snake wrangler saved a Cape York teen from a scrub python that had him wrapped like a scaly doona.
Ryan Jackson, 14, woke up shortly before 1am to find the 3.5m serpent wrapped around his arm with a mouthful of hand.
Alerted by his cries, parents Emma and Neville Jackson barrelled into the pitch black room to get to grips with the reptilian intruder that had trespassed onto their cattle station house, north of Coen.
Nev - naked as the day he was born - got to grips with the invader without a second to spare or pausing to grab a pair of jocks.
"It was aggressive," Ms Jackson said.
"The more we wrestled with its head on Ryan's hand, the more it came in through the window and wrapped itself around his arm."
Ryan kept his cool throughout the ordeal and was careful not to let the snake get near his torso.
"He instinctively held it up away from his body," Ms Jackson said.
"He trusted that mum and dad would know what to do and deal with it, he was very mature.
"I have a four-year-old; if it had got her, the outcome would be different."
The slippery interloper would not give up easy - then Ryan's dad spied a platypus money box next to the bed.
"The beak was the perfect shape - Nev wedged it between the jaw and Ryan's arm," Ms Jackson said.
"It took us about 10 minutes to dislodge it and Nev took it outside- it was actually a funny scene, Nev was naked and the snake was having a go at him too."
A call to the Royal Flying Doctors and a course of antibiotics later and Ryan is a bit battered but unbowed.
"He is more cautious now and checks his room every night," Ms Jackson said.
Cairns snake catcher David Walton said the incident sounded like an aberration.
"You always have that situation where if something is starving then it would have a crack at it," Mr Walton said.
"The snake may have been looking for warmth and come into the room and he (Ryan) may have rolled over on him. The snake may have reacted in defence.
"We have never in the recorded history of Australia had a child eaten by a snake."
He said it would take a much larger snake to consume a human child.
"We have never in the recorded history of Australia had a child eaten by a snake," he said.
"A three and a half metres snake could possibly eat a chicken."