The Yellow Tailed Cribo with Jaime Thomas3rd December 2017
Today Mark and I were walking through the forest, heading toward our first location for the mirror project. There was suddenly a loud rustling in the grass to the right of the trail. We stopped and as I glanced towards it, Mark dived into it. Suddenly he was standing up and grasping onto the tail end of a large, very disturbed snake that was thrashing about wildly! It had a thick body, dark grey mottled with yellow, the bright yellow tail and face standing out especially as it thrashed around. It managed to bite him on the hand multiple times before he got a good hold on it, leaving a nice ring of teeth marks in his hand! Mark identified it as the Yellow-tailed Cribo, Drymarchon corais corais. Once he had a good grip on the now very perturbed snake, we hurried back to camp with our catch. The other team members were excited to see such as beautiful specimen. We bagged it and left it there for the Herp team to examine and measure, once they’re finished we will take it out for a photo shoot and release it!
The Herp team finished up examining the Cribo. Mark said it was one of the largest he’s found of that species. Mark and I then took it out for a photo shoot in the forest before releasing it where we found it. We brought a bucket with us and together gently coaxed the snake into the bucket, then set it on the ground upside down. Mark sat on the bucket so the snake couldn’t escape and we waited a few minutes to let it calm down. Then he lifted the bucket off as I crouched down low on the ground a few feet in front of it with my camera ready. The snake lay curled up quietly but its head was covered so Mark gently nudged it. The head moved and I managed to get a few photos before it started moving about again. Mark grabbed it and the annoyed snake attempted lift its head to bite again. Mark jumped out of the way and held onto it; we managed to get it into the bucket again. We waited for it to calm down, then tried again. This time it did not stay calm for as long! I was close to the ground trying to get some good shots of the head and it started coming toward me. I stayed still for a moment but Mark said to move quickly; i jumped up just as it came toward my face, close call! He grabbed it again and together we place it under the bucket. The snake was getting more agitated so after that time we got photos of each other holding it (Mark assisting me in getting a good grip on its head first!), and then it was time to release it. Mark carried it over the grass where he had caught it and we watched it slither away. What was really fascinating was watching it move down into a ditch next to the trail – there was a hole in the ground into which it crawled. We watched the whole snake disappear – one moment a large snake was slithering on the forest floor and the next moment there was nothing there! How easily the animals in the forest can hide….
Blog written by Jaime Thomas