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Woman Spots Deadly Animal Hiding In Photo Of Her Kids

The Dodo logo The Dodo 10/15/2019 Lily Feinn
a man walking down a dirt path next to a tree

A woman and her young kids were out for a walk Monday near the Mitta Mitta River in Victoria, Australia. As her kids ran ahead, the woman decided to snap a few photos of the pretty scene.

But her unsuspecting children weren’t the only ones posing for the pictures.

It wasn't until she looked at the pictures later that she realized what she had missed — a snake.

But not just any snake.

a person flying a kite on a dirt road © FB/Snake Catcher Victoria Australia

At the exact moment the photos were taken, her kids were about to cross paths with a venomous eastern brown snake. 

The deadly photobomb was shared on Facebook by Barry Goldsmith, owner of Snake Catcher Victoria Australia. Goldsmith saw the pics as a perfect example of how snakes will not attack unless otherwise provoked.

"The snake saw them coming and watched as they unknowingly skipped past,” Goldsmith wrote on Facebook. “Really goes to show that snakes are not aggressive and just need respect.”

Eastern brown snakes will react defensively if agitated or cornered, but when the snakes are confronted with a person, usually they will choose to flee or remain still.

Most of the eastern brown snake casualties are a result of the animal feeling as if his life is in danger, according to the Australian Museum: "This species has the unfortunate distinction of causing more deaths from snakebite than any other species of snake in Australia. Many bites have been a direct result of people trying to kill these snakes and could obviously have been avoided."

a group of people walking down a dirt road © Barry Goldsmith

It's not rare to meet a poisonous snake in northeastern Australia, especially as developments expand into natural habitats. “In Victoria, where I live, all the snakes are venomous with the main ones being the eastern brown snake, the tiger snake, the Australian copperhead and the red-bellied black snake,” Goldsmith told The Dodo.

The eastern brown snake is a master of camouflage, blending in perfectly with dirt roads and underbrush. Anyone else might think he was a stick. 

a snake in the grass © FB/Snake Catcher Victoria Australia

For 40 years, Goldsmith has been working to educate people about their environment and the animals they share it with.

“I'm trying to get people to respect the animal instead of putting fear into them,” Goldsmith said. “I'm forever trying to change attitudes towards them."

The photo shows that it is possible to peacefully coexist with wildlife. However, it’s important to be cautious as snake sightings in Australia become more frequent in the spring and summer.

"Please be careful," Goldsmith wrote on Facebook. "Take care this summer and be nice to snakes."

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