A father in Australia is lucky to be alive after stepping on a deadly copperhead snake on his doorstep on Monday morning.
Miraculously, Arvind Atri managed to jump off the snake fast enough not to be bitten. CCTV footage of the ordeal shows Atri jumping high in the air as soon as he steps on the venomous visitor in the courtyard of his home in Donnybrook, near Melbourne.
The snake can then be seen gliding away under the concrete walkway as snake catcher Mark Pelley, known as The Snake Hunter, was called to the scene.
Pelley shared the CCTV footage in a post on Facebook, describing the incident as “a moment between life and death.”
“I dug for 30 minutes to get it [the snake] out of [from under the concrete]but eventually it was captured,” Pelley said news week.
Lowland copperheads are mainly found in south-eastern Australia in grasslands, heathland, woodland and open shrubs. Despite their name, the snakes are not related to the North American copperheads: while the American copperhead is a type of viper, the Australian copperhead is a disgusting snake belonging to the same family as the cobras and the mambas.
Lowland copperheads are a medium-sized snake that tends to grow to around 3 to 5 feet in length. The snakes are adapted to life in relatively cooler climates and can be active in weather that is generally considered too cold for other snakes.
Australian Copperheads tend to be secretive and prefer to avoid people. They do not typically bite, even when threatened, and instead tend to hiss loudly to scare off their attackers. Only on rare occasions do they actually bite and release their powerful venom that attacks nerves, blood and body cells. According to the Australian Museum, a bite from an adult copperhead can be fatal without proper medical intervention.
Considering his proximity to this deadly reptile, Atri responded very well to the incident, Pelley said, “He was very calm and collected.”
After processing what had happened, Atri kept his family away from the snake and called in a professional, Pelley, to help remove it. “Arvind is amazing and did the right thing,” said Pelley.
The CCTV footage posted on Facebook has been viewed 17,000 times so far, with many users sharing their surprise at this close encounter.
“That’s crazy. He’s so lucky he wasn’t bitten. That poor snake looks scared too,” one said.