WIRES to the rooftop rescue

WIRES: Snake man Michael Fitzgerald.
WIRES: Snake man Michael Fitzgerald.

When a snake-like shadow fell across a Lindendale resident as she was cooking in her kitchen, she did what nearly all humans have done since the dawn of evolution; she jumped. Above her, on top of the kitchen skylight, a large python was basking peacefully in the sun. When she rang the WIRES Northern Rivers hotline for assistance, WIRES 'snake man' Michael Fitzgerald arrived on the scene and climbed up to the skylight to rescue the large snake nicknamed 'Mrs Python' from the rooftop.

"It was making for a snake-sized crack in the roof and I was lucky I was able to grab it and gently encourage it to come backwards before it got there; once a python gets a toe-hold, they can really dig in," Michael said.

He said snakes are around us all the time and humans need to realise that we share their habitat, and that snakes are going to be more frightened of us than we are of them.

"Their reptilian brains just know that we are large creatures and they are frightened of us. Pythons are very reluctant strikers; they are docile, retiring creatures who are territorial animals."

Michael said he was "just a humble foot soldier for WIRES" but joining was one of the best things he's ever done in his life.

"It connects me with the natural world in a direct way with a job where I can alleviate suffering and rescue creatures that have got into trouble... It's a deeply satisfying thing and we really need more people to join WIRES and help rescue our native wildlife."

For information about our wildlife, visit or call the WIRES 24-hour hotline on 6628 1898.

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