A python that was found in a Queensland swimming pool covered in ticks is recovering in an animal hospital after vets successfully removed 511 parasites from its body.
The carpet python was found in a backyard in Coolangatta on the Gold Coast by snake catcher Tony Harriso, who said the snake entered the pool in an effort to drown the ticks.
The snake was taken to the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital for treatment, where vets tested it and removed all of the ticks over several hours.
Not 'out of the woods yet'
The hospital said the ticks had left the python, which they named "Nike," suffering from anaemia.
"Nike also has a nasty infection which may have caused his immobility, allowing the ticks to take advantage of him," the hospital said. "Nike isn't out of the woods yet, but we are hopeful he will make a full recovery and be released back into the wild in the coming months."
The hospital thanked the many well wishes sent to the snake on its Facebook page on Monday.
Stephen Barker, a University of Queensland Professor of Parasitology, said male ticks attach to a reptile when they are waiting to mate with a female.
He added that it would take ten to twelve hours to drown a tick.