A hiker from Cairns was left with blood pouring from his face after being savaged by an aggressive snake.
Joel Herrington, also known as Joey Zayne, and his friends made the 3.3km trek to Clamshell Falls on Monday for a swim.
However, as they were leaving Behana Gorge, they encountered the “territorial” python in a tree.
Despite initially keeping a safe distance and taking photos and videos, the snake unexpectedly attacked Mr Herrington when he reached down to pick up plastic bottles that had fallen out of his bag.
The attack left Mr Herrington with a gash to his face and a 15cm gap between wounds left by the upper and lower jaw of the snake.
The incident has sparked concern about the unusually aggressive python, estimated to be 2.5m in length.
“We took some photos and video. It was a safe distance but every time I put my camera down my friend was saying it was moving closer,” Mr Herrington told the Cairns Post.
He said he was just going to pick up some bottles that fell out of his bag when
the snake “hit me in the side of the face”.
“It felt like someone had just bitch slapped me and I fell down the rock,” Mr Herrington said.
“The blood was literally pouring out of my face,” he continued.
“I put my T-shirt over the wound to stop the bleeding. It was pretty scary the amount of blood coming out. I’m just glad it didn’t hit my eye. If it had struck my eye it could have been a really serious situation.”
The experienced snake handler does not believe the python needs to be relocated, instead suggesting it had become confused while hanging down to catch bats.
He also emphasised the importance of giving snakes space and respecting wildlife in protected areas.
The Department of Environment and Science has also urged visitors to be cautious and respectful when encountering wildlife.
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