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Story highlights

A woman spotted a snake imitating tinsel on her Christmas tree

She called a professional snake catcher who confirmed it to be among the deadliest in Australia

(CNN) —  

An Australian woman made a shocking discovery Sunday when she spotted a deadly snake wrapped like tinsel around her Christmas tree.

The woman, known as Cheryl, immediately called professional snake catcher Barry Goldsmith to her home in Frankston, a Melbourne suburb.

It turned out she’d had a lucky escape.

“The snake is among the most dangerous of Australia,” Goldsmith told CNN.

Tiger snakes, very common in Southern Australia during summer, are protected in many states and usually released back into the wild when found inside houses.

Goldsmith, who has been running Snake Catcher Victoria for years, said he has seen the reptiles in many unusual places because they can climb almost anywhere, but never inside a Christmas tree.

A deadly snake peers out from a Christmas tree.
A deadly snake peers out from a Christmas tree.
PHOTO: Barry Goldsmith

“Cheryl did exactly what she was supposed to do,” said Goldsmith. “She closed the door, put a towel underneath and called me.”

The snake catcher added that if people don’t touch the snakes and stay calm, they don’t usually get bitten. Trying to move or kill the reptiles, on the contrary, can be fatal.