'I'm lucky to survive this': Snake catcher nearly strangled to death in 'freak accident'

 abc.net.au  10/11/2018 2:43:28 AM   Kristy Sexton-McGrath

Updated October 11, 2018 15:02:25

A professional snake catcher in far north Queensland says she is lucky to be alive after an enormous python attempted to strangle her during a job.

Sue Ambler from Mission Beach, south of Cairns, was attempting to relocate a large python from a tree when things went awry.

Ms Ambler took to social media to warn others about the risks of handling pythons.

"I grabbed the snake out of the tree and it landed around my neck and before I could unwind it, it tightened around my neck and face, " Ms Ambler posted to Facebook.

"Before long it afixiated (sic) me to the point [where] I passed out and fell to the ground.

"If it wasn't for the quick thinking of the people I was catching the snake for I wouldn't be alive to tell my story.

"As the ambulance guy said, one more minute and I would [have] been dead."

Ms Ambler posted that the snake cut off her circulation, bursting the blood vessels in her eyes and caused bruising.

She said the python also caused a "friction burn" across the bridge of her nose.

"I'm feeling OK, but still very sore," she wrote.

"I think because I have been handling snakes for so long, I was too relaxed and he got the better of me but I've learnt a lesson and won't make the same mistake twice."

She said she wanted to warn others not to handle snakes, even non-venomous types, like pythons.

"This was a freak accident but I also want people to know that pythons can be moody and cranky and dangerous — I'm lucky to survive this," Ms Ambler wrote.

She also wrote the near-death experience would not stop her from doing what she loved.

"If I got a phone call now I would go and relocate a snake in a heartbeat," she said.

Under Queensland law, people wanting to remove snakes must apply for a snake handler's licence through the Department of Environment.

It costs around $350 and includes some training.

Topics: animals, human-interest, people, mission-beach-4852, qld, brisbane-4000, cairns-4870, townsville-4810, australia

First posted October 11, 2018 13:43:28

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