By Nelson Groom
This is the moment a huge scrub python brought an Australian father and three schoolchildren to a standstill during a bike ride.
Dad-of-one Tim Reynolds, 45, was picking up his son Kolby, nine, from primary school in Queensland’s Wide Bay when they noticed the three-metre serpent slithering down the pavement.
In his video footage Kolby and school friends Alexis, Jacob, and Corey can be heard panicking as they shelter from the constrictor during the close encounter late last month.
Tim, an online import business owner, said the scaly pedestrian was a wake-up call for locals to stay vigilant as the warmer weather drives serpents out in the open.
Tim said: “I knew something was wrong when they came back screaming. Then I saw it, a very large snake.
“I just stopped and made sure the kids went around it and didn’t try to touch it. In the end of the day this is not a pet and it will bite.
“We stayed there for 20 minutes while the kids were heading home from school to make sure nobody got hurt, then it just disappeared into the grass.
“We live on the back of a nature reserve so there are a lot of snakes in the area. I make sure my kids know to respect the animals and keep out of their way.”
As the Australian spring gets underway, it’s not just beach-goers soaking up the sun after a winter of hibernation.
Warmer temperatures, humidity and high pollen levels push snakes of all shapes and sizes on the move to seek food or a mate.
Scrub pythons are Australia’s largest species of snake and can grow up to eight metres long.
Though they are non-venomous, they can inflict a painful bite and there is even evidence of the mammoth reptiles making a meal out of large wildlife like kangaroos.
Tim had some strong words of warning for parents or kids playing out in the open as snake season kicks off.
He said: “Watch out. The weather is warming up, and snakes are on the move, so just stay aware.”