They are tiny, but they are some of the most dangerous arrivals to date at the Australian Reptile Park.
The 41 baby Tasmanian tiger snakes, an unusually large litter given average the number is only 20-30 snakes, were born live and found in their mother’s enclosure and measure between eight and 10 centimeters in length.
The baby serpents were born into the NSW park’s antivenom program that has been underway since 1952.
The Central Coast wildlife sanctuary is the only facility in Australia that milks terrestrial snakes for their venom to make into antivenom and saves over 300 lives every year.
“The arrival of these baby tiger snakes is just awesome,” Venom Section Supervisor Zac Bower said.
“They are exciting animals to work as they all have very naughty little personalities and are always hungry.”
“Even though they’re so tiny, they’re still just as venomous as their adult counterparts and a bite from any of the babies would result in a trip to the hospital so I have to be extremely careful when working with them.”
The tiger snake is ranked as the 4th most venomous in the world and used to be the most common cause of snake bite fatalities in Australia. This position has now been taken over by the eastern brown snake.
The tiger snake is a very dangerous species. Its range coincides with the highest human population in Australia so encounters are common.
Tiger snakes will usually act out an impressive threat display before attempting to bite. This begins with flattening of the neck and loud hissing followed by mock strikes.