DAVE Castley could be in for a long year — by the Chinese calendar, anyway — if yesterday’s behaviour of a disgruntled carpet python are anything to go by.
On the eve of the Chinese New Year — the year of the snake — the Scales Aquarium and Reptile owner is nursing two nasty bites from his non-venomous snake.
The short-tempered python struck at its handler, latching on to his hand and wrapping its body tightly around his arm when he went to retrieve it from its enclosure for a picture.
And the only way to get it off? Drown it until it lets go.
“And they say they’re misunderstood creatures,” Mr Castley joked after the ordeal.
Ironically, the former K9-Catfish employee, 35, was born in 1977 making him a “snake”.
Today is the last day of the Chinese zodiac year of the dragon.
The Chinese zodiac relates each year to an animal and its attributes, according to the 12-year cycle.
It is widely followed in many East Asian countries including China, Vietnam, Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
Mr Castley said he “knew nothing really” about the Chinese zodiac.
“I probably only know I’m a snake because my mum told me,” he said.
Mr Castley sells up to 60 snakes a year and believes the scaly creatures are starting to be more widely accepted.
“The only good snake is a dead snake, according to most people from the country,” he said.
“But everyone seems a lot more OK with them now compared with my generation and older.”