When people are asked about Australia, one of the first things that comes to mind are the hundreds of animals, reptiles and insects that share the land. 140 species of snake alone can be found in Australia, while 80% of the plants and animal life are unique to their shores.
What comes next when they think of snakes and reptiles is of course them crawling or slithering through pipes and up toilet bowls. Hollywood may be responsible for peddling this particular rumour but is it true? And what other species can be found in your pipes? You may call the plumber looking for a solution to your blocked drain when, you’ll need an animal or reptile expert to help you.
All over the world there have been famous stories about snakes popping out of toilets, a family in Mumbai found a 6-foot cobra in theirs, while an Israeli man was bitten by one while relieving himself. The Mirror newspaper in the UK reported a 10-foot boa constrictor lived in some pipes for three months before appearing out of a resident’s toilet. The stuff of nightmares.
Rats are commonly seen in cities all over the world, especially those with open sewer systems. Rats can cause all sorts of problems to the structural makeup of these systems as their teeth are so strong they can chew through concrete. As well as this, they are expert swimmers and climbers so getting up through the pipes and out of the toilet isn’t something confined the movies.
A workspace in the north of Sydney last week called in a plumber to deal with a leak in the male bathroom. What the plumber found much to his surprise was a possum living in the pipes, a problem outside his job description. Possums living in toilets is quite common as they are small they can easily fit in the small pipes.
Alligators have been regularly reported to have been found in sewers, although they don’t live there. Too large to fit in the small pipes in homes, this is one creature you shouldn’t have to worry about coming up your toilet.
Numerous other animals and rodents have been found in toilet bowls including frogs and squirrels. So next time you call your plumber to fix a problem with your pipes, you may need to make a second call to animal services shortly after.