She Was Taking Care of Business. Then, 'Midstream,' a 'Sharp Tap'

Aussie woman bitten by carpet python while on the toilet
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2019 11:26 AM CST
Updated Jan 27, 2019 12:28 PM CST
Look before you linger.   (Getty Images/tonymax)

(Newser) – Australia has been mired in quite a heat wave, and the snakes are taking to the toilets to cool off. Newshub reports that a Brisbane woman found that out, um, "midstream" after a carpet python hiding in her porcelain throne apparently freaked out when she went to take care of business. Per the BBC, 59-year-old Helen Richards was relieving herself in the dark on Tuesday when she suddenly felt a "sharp tap" on her rear. "I jumped up with my pants down and turned around to see what looked like a [long-necked] turtle receding back into the bowl," she tells the Courier-Mail, via the BBC. It was no turtle, however—the bum biter was a 5-foot-long carpet python, which left Richards with minor puncture wounds that she cleaned up with antiseptic.

Carpet pythons aren't poisonous, but experts do recommend those bitten by them get a tetanus shot. "Unfortunately, the snake's preferred exit point was blocked after being spooked by Helen sitting down, and it lashed out in fear," an animal handler who came to help Richards out tells the BBC. The python wasn't the only terrified party: Richards told the snake handler that her "toilet habits have forever changed" as a result of her experience. Meanwhile, despite the potential trauma of having a human butt forced upon them, the snakes might have the right idea in terms of staying cool: The BBC notes that other animals have perished en masse during the Down Under heat wave, including bats, fish, and horses. (The Australian heat just a set a record.)

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