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Paul and the Snake


Ex-Kiwis on the Bay Islands take some getting used to snakes, which don’t exist in New Zealand.

It’s worse if such local wildlife nests in the new resident’s vehicle, as happened to Russell Island’s Paul Bensemann.

During a trans-Tasman trip for a grandson’s birth, his ute engine became hibernation site for a carpet python, on the top carpark near the Russell ferry terminal. 

“It was a dinkum ‘welcome back to Australia’,” Paul said, “But the amazing thing is I didn’t find it until two days later.”

He arrived at night and needed help from two other residents to jump-start the ute, using a cellphone for light.

“I must have slammed the bonnet on its neck as it was trying to get out, but we didn’t see or hear it all,” Paul said. 

“I’m upset I did this, because I love carpet pythons. I hear they’re great at eating rats and mice. I didn’t find the dead snake’s head sticking out until about to go for a drive one morning.”


• Paul and the Snake



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