A worker at an animal refuge has told how she ‘has to laugh’ following a lucky escape after she accidentally placed her hand in a box with a deadly boa constrictor snake as she failed to spot a warning note on top.
Heidi Lepuschitz was doing the rounds early in the morning at the Tierheim Garten Eden animal refuge centre in Klagenfurt, the capital of the federal state of Carinthia in Austria when she found a box in front of the building.
She said: “It was around 4 am and I was doing my nightly checks around the centre. When I first saw the box I thought it had pieces of fabric in it. I could not get the lid off, I could only get my fingers inside the lid.
“As I did so I heard a hissing noise coming from inside the box, then I realised that there was a massive snake inside the box. I immediately called the police and carried the box into the kitchen of the animal refuge. Only later did I see there was a note on the top of the box saying ‘Warning: Boa Constrictor, do not open, she is very strong.”
She added: “Now I think about it I have to laugh. I really didn’t expect that. The boa constrictor is highly aggressive and would have bitten straight away. The snake is now in good hands with Helga Happ.”
Helga Happ runs a reptile centre in Klagenfurt. She said: “I don’t know what terrible conditions the snake must have lived in. If she had got hold of Heidi Lepuschitz she would have bitten and not let go.”
Keeping boa constrictors (Boa constrictor) at home is banned in the Austrian state of Carinthia. The snakes are found in tropical North, Central, and South America, as well as some islands in the Caribbean. The boa constrictor bites its prey, grabbing it with its teeth before constricting it to death and consuming it whole.
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