A cattle farmer who was rounding up cows while riding his motorbike was bitten by a highly venomous two-metre long brown snake in Queensland, and then had to fight it off.
The "angry" seven-foot (2.13 metre) snake latched onto the 34-year-old's leg through his jeans as he was mustering cattle on his motorbike, on a property near Clermont, a small town 290km south west of Mackay. Authorities believe the snake lashed out after the farmer accidentally rode over it.
Central Queensland Helicopter Rescue Service (RACQ CQ Rescue) said the man fell off his motorbike after the brutal bite, but then had to grab the snake's head to pull it off his calf. According to the Brisbane Times, the patient told medical staff the snake was "so big" it took his entire hand span to grab its head, and other workers gave the man life-saving first aid before a rescue helicopter arrived.
The rescue service said in a Facebook post on Saturday: "Fortunately, a pressure immobilisation bandage was applied immediately and this correct first aid might just have saved his life. He wasn't in good shape with chest pains and feeling very unwell when we picked him up in the chopper and delivered him quickly to Mackay Base Hospital.
"We wish him a speedy recovery after today's ordeal. Not sure whether you'd consider it a lucky or unlucky tale to tell!"
RACQ CQ Rescue, which has a coverage area centering around Mackay on the Queensland coast, said this was the third snake bite patient they airlifted to hospital in just six weeks.
Brown snakes are the species responsible for the most snakebite deaths in Australia, although with modern first aid the number of deaths has reduced to just one or two each year.
"This species feeds mostly on small mammals, particularly rodents. It has rapidly developed a preference for introduced rats and mice and, for this reason, is often found around farm buildings," the Australian Reptile Park's website explains.
"Such habits regularly bring the species in contact with humans and its bad temper and toxic venom may lead to potentially dangerous conflicts. Despite its reputation, it still performs a very useful function for farmers by controlling the numbers of introduced rodent pests."