A mischievous pet cat has died after bravely fighting off Australia’s most deadly snake to protect two young children.
The children were playing in the back garden of their Queensland home with the cat when an eastern brown snake slithered in right next to the children.
The eastern brown is listed by National Geographic as Australia’s deadliest snake, with brown snakes responsible for more deaths in Australia than any other group of snakes.
Arthur the brave family tabby cat killed an eastern brown snake threatening two children who were playing in a Queensland garden. He was bitten in the fight and died the next day
The eastern brown is highly aggressive, fast, known for its bad temper and has the second most toxic land snake venom in the world – making the situation immediately dangerous for the little ones.
Arthur the cat immediately saw the snake and leapt into action.
The tabby hero fought off the snake, killing it.
Sadly he was bitten in the process.
The dead eastern brown snake killed by Arthur the family cat as he defended the children
The Eastern brown snake (pictured, stock) has toxic venom which can cause progressive paralysis. It has the second deadliest venom of any land snake in the world
The Tanawha vet hospital where Arthur was taken after he collapsed
The brave feline immediately collapsed but quickly recovered as though nothing was wrong.
The next morning however the poison had worked its way through Arthur’s body.
His family found him collapsed and unable to get up.
They rushed him to Tanawha Hospital on the Sunshine Coast but it was too late.
Animal Emergency Service Queensland said his owners had been devastated.
‘It was with the heaviest of hearts his owners had to leave Arthur after he gained his angel wings,’ they wrote on Facebook.’
‘His family … remember him fondly and are forever grateful he saved the children’s lives. Arthur was always getting into mischief; he had previously visited us before having been in accidents and was very much loved by our team.’
Animal Emergency Service Queensland said sudden ‘collapse events’ are a common symptom of snake bites, but are not well-known.
Hundreds of people immediately took to social media to pay tribute to Arthur’s heroism on Monday.
‘Oh Arthur… what a brave little man! My heart breaks for you and your family,’ wrote one woman.
‘RIP beautiful boy. You truly are a hero,’ wrote another.
‘Rest easy old mate, you earned it,’ wrote a third.
Australia’s top 10 deadliest snakes
1 – Eastern brown snake: fast, aggressive, in the group of snakes responsible for the most deaths each year in Australia. Has the second most toxic snake venom in the world
2 – Western brown snake: less aggressive than the Eastern Brown, still highly dangerous, fast, nervous. Venom not as toxic as the Eastern Brown – but it delivers three times as much. Small fangs, painless bite.
3 – Tiger snake: responsible for second highest number of bites in Australia, nocturnal hunters often trodden on in the dark. Venom is fatal if the bite is not treated.
4 – Inland taipan: reclusive and rare, the inland taipan has the most toxic venom of any land snake in the world – it can kill an adult in 45 minutes. It is number 4 on the list as it hardly ever bites anyone
5 – Coastal taipan: also called ‘eastern taipan’. Nervous and alert. Venom is the third most toxic of any land snake, has the longest fangs of any Australian snake. Venom can kill within 30 minutes in the most severe bites.
6 – Mulga snake: sometimes called ‘king brown’ but is of the black snake genus. Has the largest venom output at 150mg per bite. They bite savagely, holding on and chewing as they inject massive amounts of poison.
7 – Lowlands copperhead: found above the snow line. Shy and slow to bite even when provoked. Neurotoxic venom.
8 – Small-eyed snake: only 50cm long. Venom has a long-acting myotoxin that attacks muscles for days after the bite.
9 – Common death adder: ambush predator that sits still posing a threat to bushwalkers who may tread on it. Neurotoxic venom.
10 – Red-bellied black snake: 2m long, found around Sydney. Venom causes blood clotting disorder, muscle and nerve damage. Bite is rarely deadly
Source: Australian Geographic