A 2.4 metre long snake being carried in a green Woolies shopping bag has been seized from a man trying to board a Wollongong train.
Multiple police crews and a snake catcher were called to Wollongong train station after members of the public spotted the snake.
When Illawarra Snake Catcher Glen Peacock arrived at the station, he found the snake "sitting in its bag that was tied up and it had six police officers around it".
"I'm six-foot [1.8 metres tall] and it was at least eight foot [2.4m] in length," he said.
The 44-year-old Wollongong man caught with the reptile was allegedly unlicensed to own a snake and it was confiscated by police.
The morelia bredli python, which is native to central Australia, had an injury to its tail and was not in good health.
"His [the man's] story was he found the snake three months earlier near a beach in Wollongong and he was getting on the train to take it to a vet in Warrawong," Mr Peacock said.
The train incident occurred on October 6 and the snake has since been nursed back to health and handed over to WIRES to be included in a rehoming ballot.
WIRES spokesman John Grant said the snake had been "humanised" and lost its instincts to be able to survive in the wild.
"This is one of the complications when people decide to keep native animals and they get too big," he said.
The python will now be put in an open ballot for licensed snake owners to keep.
Wollongong Police District Chief Inspector Steve Worthington said at this stage no charges have been laid against the man caught with a snake.
The average length of a morelia bredli python, also known as centralian carpet python, is 2.2 metres (7.2 feet).
They are non-venomous and can live up to 30 years in captivity.
They rely on their strength to squeeze prey and constrict it to death. They feed on rabbits, wallabies, reptiles and birds, and have been recorded feeding on feral cats.
They have reddish-brown scales across the back, with numerous blotches and bars running along the sides and black which are cream or beige in color. On the underside they have white or yellowish scales.
Their tongue is blue and forked at the end. Their head is distinct from the body widening at the base.
They have visible heat sensing pits on either side of the mouth which help them to find food.
Morelia bredli python are rated as a 'beginner' snake for reptile enthusiasts.
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