The devices, known as glue boards or glue traps, are essentially trays that are coated with an extremely sticky adhesive. They are often used to remove rodents, insects, and other animals that are considered to be pests from homes.
But while some people buy these traps as an alternative to snap traps, which can pose a risk to children and pets, animal rights groups have condemned the devices, with The Humane Society of the United States describing them as “cruel and indiscriminate.”
The image of the trapped eastern brown snake was posted to Facebook by Snake Catcher Victoria Australia.
In the post, the snake catching company said: “This is a sticky insect or mouse trap. You can buy these nasty things anywhere. This one had caught a young eastern brown snake, some crickets and other assorted bugs.
“The snake was carefully removed using olive oil and was released uninjured. Stay warm, stay safe and be nice to snakes.”
The eastern brown is one of nine species of brown snake that live in Australia, all of which belong to the genus Pseudonaja. These serpents are considered to be among the most venomous snakes in the world, although deaths from the bite of an eastern brown bite are very rare in the country.
The animals have a reputation for being aggressive, much like other venomous serpents, but they tend to avoid lunging at humans unless they feel threatened or have been provoked.
While the trapped eastern brown snake in the image was lucky enough to have been saved, countless other animals that become stuck in glue traps are not so lucky.
According to the Wildlife Center of Virginia, animals that get caught in the traps usually suffer a slow death due to starvation, dehydration or exhaustion as they expend energy trying to free themselves, for hours or days.
In addition, the traps are indiscriminate meaning they often catch animals that were not the intended targets—usually birds, snakes, lizards, and other small mammals.
The Humane Society say that manufacturers of the boards tend to suggest throwing the traps away in the trash with the live animals still stuck to the surface, extending their suffering even longer.
The traps are available to buy in most countries around the world, including the United States, although they have been prohibited in a handful of places, such as New Zealand, some Australian states and British Columbia in Canada.