PICKING up a red belly black snake is not the smartest thing Sam Landers has ever done, especially after it bit him on the hand.
But Sam had his reasons.
The 16-year-old was bitten by the venomous snake at Yamba on Friday after he tried to move it out of the way to protect some children.
“I was walking along up near the tennis courts at Main Beach and I saw a kid nearly step on it,” Sam said.
“So I picked it up and tried to move it out of the way and he bit me.
“It was only about 40cm long but gee, he's got a nasty bite on it.”
Sam went straight down to the Yamba surf club where life savers strapped up his arm to stop the venom from spreading in his blood stream.
He was rushed to Maclean hospital and then up to Lismore Base Hospital where he was given anti venom.
Sam spent most of the night attached to a drip and heart monitor so hospital staff could monitor his condition.
A lover of snakes, Sam has a pet python at home and has been bitten many times by various snakes before, but never as badly as on Friday.
He said he wanted people in the Clarence Valley to be aware that there were dangerous snakes about and not to touch them.
That message was echoed by Stuart Dart, a member of the WIRES reptile team.
Mr Dart said there were plenty of snakes in the Clarence Valley so people needed to be aware of them and wear protective footwear when walking in long grass.
He said when Sam went to grab the snake it would have appeared a predatory act to the snake.
“The only way to defend themselves is to fight and that's what this little snake did,” Mr Dart said.
The snake handler also said smaller snakes were harder to handle because the distance between their head and tail was much closer.
“I'd prefer to handle a six foot red belly or brown snake than a 40cm snake because the smaller ones are too short and very fast,” he said.
“And small snakes are just as venomous at that size as they are full size.”
Mr Dart urged people not to touch snakes and call WIRES on 6643 4055 to report injured snakes and wildlife.