Family's beloved snake missing
THE Whitsundays has its fair share of snake stories, but this is one with a difference with a Cannonvale family looking for its beloved pet.
Elisha Smith, her partner Steve Austin and daughter Ella-Rose Peterson have been left devasted after their python went missing a couple of days before Christmas and has not been seen since.
Charlie the albino Darwin python disappeared from his enclosure at their home in Pandanus Drive, Cannonvale, on December 23, just before the family had to head away from town.
When they returned this week he had still not returned home, but Miss Smith is hopeful Charlie - who is more than five foot - will still turn up.
Unlike many snakes which area dark in colour, Charlie is pale yellow with dark yellow hoops around his body.
His pink eyes would also make Charlie easier to spot.
Charlie has been with Miss Smith's family for about a year after they got him from someone who couldn't look after him any more.
With Miss Smith having grown up with snakes - her father was a snake catcher and she used to go out with him on jobs - Charlie soon settled into being part of the family.
"I fell in love with him straight away,” Miss Smith said.
"He's got a beautiful personality.
"It's so placid. It wouldn't harm a fly.
"We just want our boy back.
"We are all very attached to him.”
Miss Smith is worried that Charlie is in the wall cavity of her house after she saw another snake disappear into a gap between the wall and plaster when she was out looking for him.
"There's no way to coax him out unless I take a sledgehammer and bash the wall in,” she said.
There is also a high chance Charlie has disappeared into the nearby streets - with Miss Smith's house just behind Bunnings Warehouse.
Miss Smith is urging anyone who sees her beloved pet to phone her on 0497 070 947, Mr Austin on 0467 793 621, or her parents on (07) 5546 0875.
"They don't have to freak out. They can just throw a blanket or something over it and call us,” she said.
"I'm not giving up hope.”