WATCH: Close encounter with snake in DEX office
IT'S not every day there's a snake loose in The Daily Examiner office, but when veteran snake wrangler Paul Jones arrives at the front counter with a cardboard box, it can only mean one thing.
Mr Jones was returning from a call-out when he stopped in to show off a clutch of carpet python eggs, with mother snake in tow, that he removed from a property in Turf St in Grafton.
"A chap was going to mow the lawn, and the lady said 'watch that bit of cardboard, there's a snake under it', and he lifted it up and there was this snake with these eggs," he said.
"So they rang me up and I went over there and picked them up.
"I'll keep them until the eggs hatch. I'll see if I can put her back with her eggs again and incubate them, and then when they hatch I'll take them back to the bush and let them go."
Mr Jones said female pythons wrap themselves around their egg clutch to incubate them, and have the ability to "shiver" if the eggs get too cool.
"Eggs on the outside are females, and the ones on the inside are males, because of the differences in heat," he said.
"The eggs were quite hard, so they might only be a few weeks away from hatching."
Once snake eggs hatch, the mother leaves the young snakes to fend for themselves from birth.
Mr Jones said he has been handling snakes for most of his 80 years, and are his favourite animal.
"I love my snakes, they're the best pets you can have," he said.
"They don't make any noise, they're cuddly, feed them once a month, and you can't get a better pet than that.
"If you've got a dog, you've got to feed it. If you're going away you've got to get somebody to look after it, cats you've got to get somebody to look after it, birds you've got to get somebody to look after it, but with a snakeyou just give it a good feed before you go and Bob's your uncle."