Woman Carries On Driving To Work With Venomous Snake in the Car

A woman who found a venomous snake hiding in her truck has been forced to take it along for a ride despite four unsuccessful attempts to remove it.

The woman, Lisa Kournelis, lives in Newcastle in Australia’s New South Wales, and discovered the slithery sneak in her car last month.

Eventually, she gave in and started driving around anyway, wearing protective gear to avoid any nasty bites.

red bellied black snake
Stock image of a red-bellied black snake. A woman in Australia has been driving around with a venomous snake in her car for weeks.


“I was putting a box in my car and it was sitting on the back seat,” Kournelis told local news outlet ABC Newcastle. “I believe it was in there for a good three weeks before that because I was finding snake poo everywhere.”

Red-bellied black snakes can grow to between 4 and 6 feet long and are native to Australia. They are venomous, but they are generally not considered as dangerous to humans as other Australian snakes such as the eastern brown snake or the tiger snake. Their venom contains neurotoxins and mycotoxins, which can cause significant pain, swelling, and muscle damage, but bites are rarely fatal. In fact, these snakes are often reluctant to bite and tend to display a threat posture—displaying their red bellies—or attempt to flee rather than attack.

Bites from red-bellied black snakes made up 16 percent of all Australian snakebite cases between 2005 and 2015. However, nobody died as a result during this period.

Despite this, the venom of this snake can cause painful symptoms. Bite victims are encouraged to seek medical attention, as antivenom can help alleviate any harmful side effects.

The snake in Kournelis’ car kept setting off her car alarm, so she knew it was still living inside the vehicle.

“So just random times from about 11 o’clock in the morning, my car alarm will go off. I wasn’t sure what it was at first, but then I clued on,” she said.

venomous snake
Stock image of a red-bellied black snake.


Kournelis thinks that the snake must have got into her car when the door was open, and has avoided the attempts of four different snake catchers thus far. Kournelis has nicknamed her companion “Fluffy” and drives the car despite the unwanted passenger, as she needs to get to and from work somehow.

She has instead taken to wearing protective gear and woolly pants to protect herself against any potential bites from the serpent.

“I don’t really have any other choice. It hasn’t hurt me, but it potentially could one day,” she said. “I’m very lucky actually that I haven’t been bitten, but if it does bite these woolen work pants that I wear will take most of the venom.”

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