Carpet Python Riddled with 500 Ticks Found in Australia.

Snake catchers in Australia have rescued a carpet python which was found covered in hundreds of ticks.
Carpet Python Riddled with 500 Ticks Found in Australia.

Video posted online showed the reptile, which was believed to be ill, coated in the parasites in a backyard swimming pool on the Gold Coast in Queensland.

A professional handler removed the snake and took it for treatment at a wildlife clinic.

Tony Harrison from Gold Coast and Brisbane Snake Catcher was called out to retrieve the reptile from a property at Coolangatta on Thursday afternoon

'Like holding a bag of marbles'

A carpet Python found in a Gold Coast pool with more than 500 ticks attached to its body was trying to drown them

Mr. Harris said he believed the snake had been trying to drown the ticks in the pool.

"Obviously, the snake was extremely uncomfortable," he said.

"Its whole face was swollen and blooming and it was completely overwhelmed by the ticks breeding on him."

He said removing the tick-laden snake had felt like "holding a bag of marbles that were moving under my hands".

University of Queensland Professor of Parasitology Stephen Barker said the ticks attached to the python were known as reptile ticks.

But to have so many, he said, was an unusual sight.

"We can't help but wonder if the snake is already sick or old … they have the lower immune response to parasites, so you do tend to find a lot of ticks on sick animals," Professor Barker said.

Professor Barker said he could spot a mix of adult males and females latched on However the presence of such a large amount of ticks indicated that the snake was likely to have an underlying illness, he said, possibly be due to heat stress or drought conditions.

"Clearly it was a seriously unwell animal to have had its natural defenses so broken down," Associate Prof Fry said.

"I doubt it would have survived if it hadn't been taken out and gotten treatment."

The python, which has since been named Nike, was taken to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital for treatment.

It took vets hours to remove and count the 511 ticks.

Mr. Harrison hosted another live Facebook video on Friday afternoon to announce Nike was "doing well"

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