During a media call for the season launch of the V8 Super Cars at Taronga today, driver Jamie Whincup was having a zoo encounter with a python when he was asked by photographers to pose for a photo with the competition trophy.
The python took an interest in the trophy base and started to investigate it. A few minutes later, when Mr Whincup adjusted his hold on the trophy, the python bit Mr Whincup on the knuckle.
An experienced reptile keeper was on hand and encouraged the python to release its hold. Mr Whincup was given first aid to treat the small puncture marks on his knuckle.
The snake was a 10 year old non-venomous Python that has been at Taronga since it was a hatchling. Named ‘Fluffy’, the snake is always calm during encounters and is known to have a placid nature. It has never bitten anyone before.
The Zoo commenced an incident investigation immediately and the python will not be used in encounters until that has been concluded.
Zoo staff apologised to Jamie Whincup, who was calm and gracious about the accident.