This photo may look like just another snake laying around in the leaves but this bad boy is the Coastal Taipan the world’s 5th most venomous snake.
Coastal Taipans live in coastal areas of Queensland, Northern Territory, the top end of Western Australia and also Papua New Guinea.
FYI, I took this photo at Taronga Zoo from behind the glass.
The Coastal (or common) Taipan is a relative of the “Inland Taipan” (also known as the Fierce Snake or Western Taipan) which is the most venomous snake in the world.
A few facts about the Coastal Taipan
- They’re active all year round.
- They average in size of about 2 meters but have been found up to 3 meters.
- They’d rather move on than attack but will attack if they feel cornered.
- Their venom is a neurotoxin that also prevents blood from clotting and it works very quickly.
What to do if a Taipan bites you
First aid should be applied just as per any snake bite
- Do NOT wash or clean the bite area. Any residual venom will be used to correctly identify the snake for antivenom.
- Do NOT apply a high tourniquet they don’t work, and the release of the tourniquet heightens the risk of death.
- Do NOT cut the bite that doesn’t work either.
- Apply a pressure bandage as per St Johns website here
- Splint and immobilise the limb.
- Call 000 and note the time of the bite.
Most importantly, don’t be a hero, don’t poke them, play with them or try to catch them.
If you want to impress your girlfriend go and build a house, chuck a wheelie on your Vesper or do something else less stupid.
Because most people get bitten by snakes trying to handle them and a bite from a Coastal Taipan simply will not add another six inches to you.