Snakes have an important role in maintaining the natural environment. “The Australian Government takes the illegal trade of wildlife in Australia very seriously.” Wildlife blackmarket a multi-billion dollar business. I just polished off a fresh cluster of snake fruit. That means snake killers theoretically put themselves up for heavy penalisation; in the Northern Territory the maximum penalty is up to five years behind bars or a $77,000 fine. "I think the first thing that people will think of when they come across a snake is chop its head off and work out what it is later," Mr Parkin said. The reptiles are often selectively bred to create unique colour variations or 'morphs'. From its red eyes and white scales, it is likely the corn snake found on the Sunshine Coast was a 'blizzard' compound morph, which is a combination of the amelanistic and charcoal varieties. "It's just a good way to get yourself bitten.". Catching a snake to identify it can be extremely dangerous and is illegal. "When you get the shovel out or get the rake out, you're in its strike zone. Still, wildlife experts strongly advise against killing snakes, warning people who do so put themselves at risk of a more serious penalty — severe illness and/or death. They are often found near grain stores where they prey on mice and rats that eat harvested corn, which is how they get their name. They kill the rodents by constricting them but have no functional venom, which makes them harmless to humans and actually beneficial since they eat pests. "I'm pretty sure there isn't a judge in Australia that would convict a person for killing a snake that they felt like they were at risk from, so I don't think it's a law that would be strictly enforced," he said. Along with other reptiles, they make up a significant proportion of the middle-order predators that keep natural ecosystems working. It is an offence to kill, injure or take snakes from the wild. However, the Act also states that exemptions can be applied for when the snake is within 100 metres of an occupied property. So why aren't prisons full of people who unwittingly beheaded a backyard snake? Mr McKenzie also included a picture of the albino snake side-by-side with an image of a brown corn snake on his phone. But even if prosecutions are rare, Ms Donne said the threat to a person's safety should be the greatest deterrent. Snakes have an important role in maintaining the natural environment. Mr McKenzie also included a picture of the albino corn snake side-by-side with an image of a brown corn snake on his phone. We are no longer accepting comments on this article. And while many Top End snakes are non-venomous, local authorities are concerned about the regularity with which people take matters — and shovels — into their own hands and kill intruding reptiles. "We've had prosecutions for people killing snakes, but it's usually in among other wildlife that's been killed as well," Ms Donne said. There are concerns about the increasing number of corn snakes being kept as pets and found in parklands and backyards. Some snakes arrive in Australia accidentally in a suitcase or a packing container, but many more are being smuggled as part of the growing illegal trade in pets. How to live in harmony with urban wildlife, When Kelly was feeling fatigued her blood test results weren't what she expected, Baby reportedly born with coronavirus antibodies, Fraser Island bushfire burning on two fronts as Kingfisher Bay Resort guests told to leave, Three thousand miles from home, Victor can look at what the British stole from his ancestors, Maradona's doctor investigated by police after football legend's death, The peak hour nightmare for growing Sydney suburb with only one road in and out, Farmers slaughtered, beheaded in retaliation after villagers stand up to gunman, WorkSafe New Zealand charges 13 parties over White Island eruption tragedy, China slaps 169pc tariff on Treasury Wine Estates imports, including Penfolds, Wolf Blass, Lindeman's, Guns, drugs and luxury cars seized as police raid syndicate, Pilot survives light plane crash in Tasmania's north-west, police say, French police admit to beating unarmed black man but deny using racist slurs. The trail of destruction left by a huge python after it... Australia will build an $800million dollar factory to make... Nine-year-old girl survives a deadly tiger snake bite by... Snake catchers reveal what's behind the huge surge in... 'Back me or face Lockdown 3': Boris Johnson battles Tory revolt as he tells MPs they must unite behind tier... 'It's not about free speech... it's about internal discipline': Eton College's provost defends sacking of... Pensioner, 83, who was jailed for playing Classic FM too loud in his home dies in prison.